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Cancer Society Welcomes Screening Unit Appointment

Cancer Society Welcomes Screening Unit Appointments

“The Cancer Society welcomes the announcement of three new appointments to the National Screening Unit”, says Cancer Society spokesperson Betsy Marshall.

According to Ms Marshall, “the appointments are an important step in providing the clinical leadership required for both the breast and cervical screening programmes”.

Ms Marshall says that for screening programmes to be safe and effective, they must have a high standard of quality. Strong clinical leadership is essential in helping to ensure that the benefits in terms of lives saved (through breast screening) and cancers avoided (through cervical screening) can be realized.

According to Ms Marshall, one of the key issues raised at the Gisborne Inquiry was the need for strong clinical leadership of the National Cervical Screening Programme. As the Gisborne Inquiry report identified, serious problems had occurred in the past because of the absence of strong leadership with the appropriate qualifications and expertise.

“We are pleased that the appointments of Dr Bloomfield as public health leader for screening programmes and Dr Wall and Dr Lewis as clinical leaders for the breast and cervical screening programmes provide an opportunity for such leadership,” says Ms Marshall.

According to Ms Marshall, the Cancer Society has had a close association with both Dr Bloomfield and Dr Wall regarding screening issues, and the Society looks forward to establishing such a relationship with Dr Lewis.

The need for separate clinical leaders for the two screening programmes was identified by Dr Euphemia McGoogan after her first visit to New Zealand to assess implementation of the Gisborne recommendations.

Ms Marshall says the Society had been expecting a report from Dr McGoogan following her second visit in April. “We accept her decision to wait until she returns in January and can assess progress, particularly in light of the new appointments to the Unit.”

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