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Women waiting up to a year for mammograms

Dr Jackie Blue
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

6 June 2006

Women waiting up to a year for mammograms

Women aged between 45 and 49 years are waiting up to a year for a mammogram, says National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Dr Jackie Blue.

Answers to parliamentary written questions reveal huge delays in mammogram waiting times for some women aged 45 to 49 years.

The extension of screening by BreastScreen Aotearoa to include women aged 45 to 49 was announced in February 2004.

"More than two years later, these women are the last in the queue to get a mammogram because they have been given the lowest priority of all groups to be screened by BreastScreen Aotearoa,” says Dr Blue.

"They are not even actively recruited.

"It seems there are no prescribed waiting times for screening of women in this age group.

"More than two years after the service was extended, teething problems should have been long sorted out. All eligible women should be able to access a mammogram in a timely way.

“We have said before that placing more pressure on an already fragile and limited breast screening service would create problems.

“And now this group is clearly being treated as an after-thought. They deserve a much better service,” says Dr Blue.


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