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Better Care For Endoscopy Patients

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

28 February 2013 Media Statement

Better Care For Endoscopy Patients

Having a colonoscopy or gastroscopy is getting a lot easier and less uncomfortable for patients, thanks to a new programme demonstrated at four district health boards (DHBs).

Health Minister Tony Ryall, who visited the Waitemata DHB trial site today, says the almost $2 million endoscopy quality improvement programme will help endoscopy units measure performance, identify weak points and make improvements.

“I’m told that as a result of the trial, clinicians have become more involved in running their endoscopy units and there is a greater focus on making changes to improve comfort and dignity for patients,” says Mr Ryall.

“Some of these changes are as simple as scheduling appointments so out of town patients can avoid peak hour traffic and are less stressed by the experience. Other units have changed the bowel preparation patients take before a colonoscopy, so it is more pleasant for them.

“The results from the trials carried out at Waitemata, Lakes, Wairarapa and Canterbury DHBs demonstrate how small changes can make a huge difference to patients and to the effectiveness of endoscopy services.

“$1.8 million is being invested over two years for the national roll out of the endoscopy quality improvement programme. The first stage of the roll-out will see the programme adopted in Hutt Valley, MidCentral, Hawkes Bay and Southern DHBs, with other DHBs following through the year.”

Endoscopy services include colonoscopies and gastroscopies and are used to diagnose conditions such as bowel cancer and stomach ulcers.

Photograph of Health Minister Tony Ryall with clinical director Dr Ali Jafer (middle) and medical consultant Dr Stephen Burmeister (right).
Waitemata DHB endoscopy - 28 February 2013


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