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Women waiting longer for free mammograms

Women waiting longer for free mammograms

Women are being forced to wait more than two years before they can even get an appointment on the BreastScreen Aotearoa programme, says National’s Health spokeswoman, Dr Lynda Scott.

“GPs have been told anyone enrolling in the newly extended screening programme will have to wait at least two years before getting their first appointment, if they have paid for a mammogram in the previous year.”

Once a woman is enrolled in the programme she is eligible for a free mammogram every two years.

Dr Scott says if a woman chooses to pay for a mammogram in the interim, she must wait two years from that mammogram before she is eligible for another free one, even though under 50 years olds are encouraged to have annual checks.

“This is blatant discrimination.

“The Minister of Health should encourage people to look after their own health – not punish them.”

Dr Scott says by delaying free mammograms and penalising women who pay for their own mammograms, the Government is undermining the positive effects of extending the age of eligibility for free breast screening.

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