National bowel screening saving more lives

Desiree Burns
August 9, 2018

Bowel Cancer New Zealand (BCNZ) spokesperson Professor Sarah Derrett says, "There is no doubt the review was needed after the issues that came to light during the early phases of the screening programme rollout.

"We know that Māori have worse outcomes for bowel cancer than non-Māori once diagnosed, and that high participation in screening for Māori is crucial. We now need to see these review recommendations being actioned and look forward to building a stronger relationship with the Ministry in the future". The Cancer Society say that strengthening the project management, reviewing IT governance and developing a dedicated IT system is spot-on to make sure people don't miss out again.

"We would encourage all eligible kiwis to get screened in this world class programme". 2,500 people had not received screening invitations, three of these had gone on to develop bowel cancer and one of them eventually died from the disease.

Clark said today that he welcomed the report.

"This review confirms that despite some issues with the pilot programme, over all it performed well".

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The Cancer Society say the report contains many positives and are delighted with the Government's commitment to the roll-out of screening around the country.

Workforce capacity also needs to be addressed urgently, as only five of 20 DHBs are as yet offering screening. Remaining DHBs will join the programme, which will be fully implemented by 2020/21.

The ultimate aim of BCNZ is to prevent lives being lost to this disease and to promote the national screening program rollout in New Zealand.

This will mean 700, 000 New Zealanders will be invited for a screening every two years.

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