News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Bowel Cancer NZ welcomes $4m boost for colonoscopy services

Media Release

December 9th 2015

Bowel Cancer NZ welcomes $4m boost for colonoscopy services

Bowel Cancer New Zealand have long been concerned about poor access to colonoscopy for New Zealanders and the Minister’s announcement of a $4m boost will definitely help improve access.

However much still needs to be done to ensure access to colonoscopy does not depend either on where you live in New Zealand or on how wealthy you are. Bowel Cancer New Zealand (BCNZ) knows that marked regional variation in access currently exists.

BCNZ chairperson Mary Bradley says, “Whilst we are pleased the government is investing in colonoscopy services there is still no firm commitment or timeline in place from the government on a national screening programme.”

“The Ministry of health have been aware of workforce issues for at least nine years and yet they are still “consulting” with the sector. Meanwhile 1200 people are dying each year from bowel cancer, while this government considers the benefits of a “possible roll out” for which strong evidence already exists.”

Dr Coleman states early detection and treatment of bowel cancer can save lives, which makes the government’s delay in rolling out a national screening programme extremely frustrating and costly in terms of lives being lost.

The national PIPER Study published this year has also highlighted access to diagnosis and timely treatment as an issue. New Zealand has much higher rates of bowel cancer being diagnosed when people present urgently to emergency departments (30%; compared to only 20% in the UK) and a higher proportion of Kiwi’s (24%) are being diagnosed with ‘worst-level’ Stage 4 cancerthan other countries.

Bradley says, “The government is failing New Zealanders by continuing to stall on implementing a national screening programme. The lack of national screening is unconscionable considering we lead the developed world in terms of bowel cancer rates and deaths - and the time for a decision is now a decade overdue. BCNZ is calling for an immediate start to a staged rollout, which could save hundreds of lives every year.”

BCNZ encourages open discussion about bowel cancer with medical professionals and avoiding ‘sitting on your symptoms’. Symptoms include:

• Bleeding from the bottom or seeing blood in the toilet after a bowel motion;

• Change of bowel motions over several weeks without returning to normal;

• Persistent or periodic severe pain the abdomen;

• A lump or mass in the abdomen;

• Tiredness and loss of weight for no particular reason;

• Anaemia.

Those who don’t live in the Waitemata DHB area or have symptoms or a family history of bowel cancer and want to do regular checks can talk to their GP or buy a commercially available bowel screening kit, which involves the family doctor, at Life or Unichem pharmacies.

More information on bowel cancer and BCNZ can be found at

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Kakī: World’s Rarest Wading Bird Released In Mackenzie Basin

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the birds will add to the 60 released into the Tasman valley earlier this month, significantly boosting the wild population. More>>


IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>


NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland