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BreastScreen Aotearoa Exceeds Targets

BreastScreen Aotearoa Exceeds Targets

BreastScreen Aotearoa has screened significantly more women than it expected to since the age extension was rolled-out in July to include younger and older women.

Quarterly figures show that between 1 July and 30 September a total of 8083 in the extended age ranges of 45 to 49 year and 65 to 69 years women were screened. This is ahead of the 2850 target set for these first three months.

Of the extra women screened, 221 were aged 45 to 49 years, and 7862 were aged 65 to 69 years.

This was in addition to around 28,000 women aged 50 to 64 years who it is estimated were also screened during the three month period.

The figures represent a 28 per cent increase in screening volumes as a result of the age extension.

The BSA programme is well on the way to screening the target 22,000 extra women in the first year of the age extension. These preliminary targets include the screening of about 66,000 women in the following year. These targets will be reviewed shortly and monitored monthly.

"BreastScreen Aotearoa radiographers, administration staff and lead provider managers are to be commended for their hard work to accommodate such a large increase in the numbers of women presenting for breast screening in the first quarter,"said
the clinical leader of BreastScreen Aotearoa, Dr Madeleine Wall.

The two new age categories have made breast screening available to a further 216,000 women, in addition to more than 328,000 women aged 50 to 64 already covered by the programme.

Women who join the programme are invited for their first two-yearly screen as soon as capacity allows. Initiatives are underway to build capacity to screen and, where necessary, treat the extra women. The Ministry of Health is working with District Health Boards and lead providers to address these issues and efforts are being made to recruit and train new staff to meet existing and future demand.

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