Thursday 08 December 2016, 3:31PM
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says DHBs will receive an extra
$4 million to deliver more colonoscopy services.
"Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death. A
colonoscopy can identify whether a person has cancer or
pre-cancerous growths. Early identification and treatment can save
lives," says Dr Coleman.
"This is the latest in a number of funding packages for
colonoscopy services since 2013/14, taking the total amount of
additional funding to $19 million.
"This extra funding will support DHBs to continue to reduce
waiting times and ensure that the progress made on delivering
colonoscopies is sustained.
"The latest data shows 3,414 patients received a colonoscopy in
September 2016 - that's an increase of 36 per cent compared
to 2,508 colonoscopies carried out in September 2013.
"This has helped to reduce the number of patients waiting longer
than recommended for a colonoscopy, which in September 2016 was
down 66 per cent compared to September 2013.
"Meeting the demand for colonoscopies is a key part of preparing
for the roll-out of the national bowel screening programme."
Once fully implemented, more than 700,000 people aged between 60
and 74 will be invited for screening every two years as part of the
national bowel screening programme. During the early screening
rounds, it's expected around 500 to 700 cancers will be detected
Budget 2016 invests $39.3 million for the start of the roll-out
of the bowel screening programme. Additional funding has been set
aside in contingency to enable the IT support required for a
national screening programme.
The first DHBs to begin screening are Hutt Valley, Wairarapa,
Counties Manukau and Southern in 2017/18. Bowel screening will
continue to be offered at Waitemata DHB, where the pilot has been
operating since 2011.