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HFA Announces External Review Of Otago

HFA Announces External Review Of Otago/Southland Breast Screening

The Health Funding Authority moved today to establish an independent group to review the administration of the Otago/Southland breast screening programme.

Healthcare Otago had earlier announced that it had identified a data entry error in its programme which has affected the files of 50 women.

The Health Funding Authority’s chief executive, Peter Hughes, said that the HFA confirmed that the error identified was limited to the Otago/Southland programme. “There are five other programmes operating in New Zealand. In four of these radiologists enter their findings directly in to the data system and the fifth programme has been extensively reviewed by the HFA and we able to confirm that they have systems in place to prevent this sort of error occurring,” he said. “In the Otago/Southland programme data entry operators enter the data, not the radiologists who read the mammograms.”

“The HFA also announced that it had agreed with Healthcare Otago that its breast screening programme should be suspended for a short time until a full review had been completed,” he said.

The HFA sent a team to Dunedin on Friday to review Healthcare Otago’s actions. “Following that team’s report we have moved today to establish an external review group,” Mr Hughes said. “The group will advise Healthcare Otago and the HFA on the appropriate steps to take to bring the Otago/Southland programme in to line with acceptable quality specifications for breast screening administration.”

That group is being set up now and will begin its work this week,” Mr Hughes said.

“The issues that have been identified in respect of the Otago/Southland programme are of real concern to the HFA. We will ensure that they are dealt with fully,” he said.

Mr Hughes confirmed that the issues related to administrative processes and were not clinical failures.

Ends

For more information please contact: Kallon Basham ph 025 897 521 or David Graham ph 025 536 025

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