More colonoscopies delivered as DHBs get ready for bowel screening roll-out

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

18 July 2016

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says more people than ever before are receiving a timely colonoscopy, as DHBs prepare for the bowel screening national roll-out programme.

“Delivering better cancer services is a priority. Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in New Zealand,” says Dr Coleman.

“The latest data shows 3,963 patients received a colonoscopy in May 2016, the highest number delivered by DHBs in a single month since the data collection began in 2012.

“This has helped to reduce the number of patients waiting for a colonoscopy, which in May 2016 was down 27 per cent compared to May 2014.

“Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs, selected as the first to roll-out bowel screening services as part of a national programme, delivered 100 per cent of urgent colonoscopies within the target of 14 days. Southern, Capital and Coast, South Canterbury and Tairawhiti DHBs also achieved 100 per cent.

“This provides a solid foundation which DHBs will continue to build on as we progress the roll-out of the national bowel screening programme.

“Once fully implemented, the national screening programme is expected to screen over 700,000 people every two years. We know that bowel screening saves lives by detecting cancers at an early stage.”

The Government has invested $15 million since 2013 to deliver more colonoscopies and reduce colonoscopy waiting times.

Budget 2016 invests $39.3 million for national bowel screening, starting with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs, and followed by a progressive roll-out across the country. Additional funding has been set aside in contingency to enable the IT support required for a national screening programme.

Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129

Last updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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