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King welcomes screening unit appointments

King welcomes screening unit appointments

Health Minister Annette King today welcomed the appointments of three new public health and clinical experts to the National Screening Unit.

The Ministry of Health today announced that Dr Ashley Bloomfield has been appointed to the position of Public Health Leader for Screening Programmes; Dr Hazel Lewis has been appointed Clinical Leader for the National Cervical Screening Programme; and Dr Madeleine Wall has been appointed Clinical Leader for BreastScreen Aotearoa. All three positions are newly established.

In welcoming the appointments, Ms King said Independent United Kingdom cytopathologist Dr Euphemia McGoogan, who is monitoring the progress of the Gisborne Cervical Screening Inquiry recommendations, had favoured the appointment of separate clinical leaders for the two screening programmes.

Ms King said Dr McGoogan will return to New Zealand next January to provide the Government with another progress report on implementation of the Gisborne recommendations. Dr McGoogan, from Lothian University Hospitals NHS in Edinburgh, had already visited New Zealand twice – in November 2001 and in April this year – to provide her with updates.

“I always intended she should return at least once more. I regard her continuing assessment of the implementation of the Gisborne recommendations as vital to ensuring we continue to build a world-class cervical screening programme.”

Ms King said Dr McGoogan would not be providing her with a full written assessment following her visit in April.

“She raised a number of issues with both me and the National Screening Unit while she was here. Work on these issues has been ongoing, and Dr McGoogan has been kept informed of progress.

“She now feels it would be more sensible, given her current heavy workload in Scotland, and given changes to the programme that have occurred since she was here, to provide me with a comprehensive and up-to-date evaluation after her return in January next year. I have told her I accept her decision.”

Ms King said Dr McGoogan had told her she did not want to comment on the programme until after completing her first-hand assessment next January.

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