'Listening is different than acting': Terminal cancer patient Blair Vining's challenge to Health Minister

Blair Vining was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in October last year. He was given just eight weeks to live.

But his hospital's system was so clogged Blair was told he couldn't see his public oncologist for at least six weeks. His only choice was to pay for private health care.

The Southland man wants to change the system with the time he has left.

Earlier this year he delivered a petition with 140,000 signatures to Parliament calling for a National Cancer Agency.

He and his wife Melissa believe a dedicated agency will ensure there is better cancer care for all New Zealanders.

"Everyone deserves a fighting chance when they get this terrible news - that's all New Zealanders will want, is just a fair chance at survival," Melissa told The Project on Friday.

If Blair had lived in a different part of New Zealand, he says his chances would have been better.

"Treatment would have been quicker, I would have been in and got the right treatment right from the start," he told The Project.

On Sunday the Government will announce its new 10-year cancer plan, and Blair is waiting to see what will change. 

"Hopefully it coincides with a cancer agency like we've been protesting for," he said on Friday.

He said he hopes Health Minister David Clark will deliver.

"We've had a few conversations, he's a really good guy but listening is different than acting."

Watch the full interview above.


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