Rotary Club fundraises for new colonoscopy monitor

6 October 2014

The Rotary Club of New Plymouth is fundraising for a new monitor for colonoscopy procedures for the Taranaki Base Hospital Endoscopy Unit.

“We currently have a monitor in one of the theatres, however a second monitor would allow us to have the same level of monitoring in both, improving efficiency and increasing the number of patients we can see,“ said Taranaki DHB Clinical Services Manager Lee McManus.

“A second endoscopy theatre was included in the re-development at Taranaki Base Hospital to allow more colonoscopy procedures to be performed,” said Ms McManus. “We needed to future-proof the hospital by adding the second theatre - the risk of bowel cancer increases with age, and we have an aging population.”

The Taranaki Health Foundation, the Taranaki DHB’s fundraising partner, is supporting the work of the Rotary Club. “It’s great to have the Rotary Club of New Plymouth fundraising for this important equipment and supporting the health of the people of Taranaki,” said the Taranaki Health Foundation’s new General Manager, Bry Kopu.

A colonoscopy is the diagnostic procedure to look for bowel cancer. It is a diagnostic tool but it can also remove any pre-cancerous polyps.

Bowel cancer is New Zealand’s most common cancer and second biggest cancer killer. The good news is that 75% of cases can be cured if they are diagnosed and treated early.

“If you have any change in bowel habit or rectal bleeding you should talk to your GP. And if you have a family history of bowel cancer you should let your doctor know,” said Ms McManus.

Population screening programmes have been proven to reduce bowel cancer mortality. Work is being done nationally to move toward this goal.

A national programme has looked at optimising the quality of all endoscopy units around the country, and training pathways for doctors learning colonoscopy techniques are being expanded.  A larger number of trained colonoscopists and endoscopy theatres would be needed to make a screening programme function.

The Ministry of Health has recently commenced an initiative to reduce the waiting times for colonoscopy for symptomatic and surveillance patients. The Taranaki DHB is in the planning stage for this project.


For more information please call
Hayley Weel
Communications Advisor
T: 753 6139 ext: 8486

Last updated: Monday, October 6, 2014

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