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Screening Programmes will not be devolved to DHBs

Health Minister Annette King said today Cabinet papers already released made it clear national screening programmes would remain under national management, and would not be transferred to the control of district health boards.

Mrs King was referring to concerns expressed at the Gisborne cervical screening inquiry yesterday.

"National screening programmes, such as cervical screening, will not be devolved to district health boards."

Final decisions on the administration of such programmes would not be made until the Gisborne inquiry presented its findings and recommendations, she said.

"But the Cabinet paper on the division of roles between DHBs and the Ministry of Health, made public earlier this year, makes it clear there are specific exceptions to the general principle that DHBs will ultimately have responsibility for planning and funding all health and disability support services.

"National screening programmes must be consistent across the country. We cannot afford to have 22 different standards. I can assure anyone who is concerned that we will not have 22 different standards."

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