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Challenges and choices for screening symposium

Hon Steve Chadwick
Associate Minister of Health

13 April 2008 Media Statement
Challenges and choices for screening symposium

The more we understand about how our bodies work, the more challenges and choices those involved with screening face, Associate Health Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

Steve Chadwick will tomorrow open the 2008 Screening Symposium at Te Papa in Wellington.

“This year’s theme, ‘Get screened and live forever?’ is a provocative one. I am pleased that local and international delegates will participate in this forum which will celebrate the successes of screening, and consider the challenges ahead,” Steve Chadwick said.

“As we begin to understand more about what makes us tick and, importantly for the health sector, what makes us stop ticking, we also begin to understand that more information brings new choices, new challenges and tough new questions.

“Perhaps one of the toughest questions that we will be confronted with in the future is, whether or not to screen for conditions that have no known treatment.”

The two day conference will cover the full range of screening programmes and issues; from breast and cervical screening to antenatal and newborn screening and will also include emerging screening areas.

“The Labour-led government extended BreastScreen Aotearoa in 2004 to include all women aged 45 – 69, which has doubled the number of women involved. And, since the introduction of the National Cervical Screening programme, we have seen 65 per cent fewer women die from cervical cancer in New Zealand.

“This government remains committed to working towards the best possible health outcomes for all New Zealanders, and I look forward to being part of the symposium’s vigorous discussion.”

The National Screening Unit currently administers five programmes: BreastScreen Aotearoa, the National Cervical Screening Programme, the Antenatal HIV Screening Programme, the Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme and the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme.


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