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Waitemata named as Bowel Screening Pilot site

Hon Tony Ryall

Minister of Health

7 December 2010

Media Statement

Waitemata named as Bowel Screening Pilot site

Waitemata District Health Board has been selected to run the four year bowel screening pilot.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says the pilot, announced as part of this year’s Budget, will cost $24 million over four years and is expected to begin in October next year. Further details will be finalised soon.

“Waitemata DHB has shown it has the knowledge and experience to run a successful screening programme,” says Mr Ryall.

"Waitemata was chosen because of its strong focus on screening and its commitment to working closely with primary care to ensure as many people as possible participate in the pilot."

"The DHB also demonstrated a collaborative approach involving strong clinical support from the three regional DHBs and the Northern Cancer Network."

The Minister says local GPs will play a leading role in informing their patients about the pilot, encouraging them to take part and supporting them through the screening pathway.

“The Ministry of Health is confident the DHB has good plans in place to manage all aspects of the screening pathway – from testing through to diagnosis – and can meet the needs of those people who will need further treatment."

He says the pilot will help determine whether a screening programme should be rolled out nationally.

"It will give vital information on participation levels, positivity rates, cancer detection rates, the stage of the disease at diagnosis, the impact on health services and whether a screening programme would be cost effective."

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About 130,000 people aged from 50 to 74 years who live in the DHB area will be invited to participate. They will be sent a screening test kit in the mail, which they can complete at home and mail to a selected laboratory for assessment.

International evidence shows that bowel screening can save lives through early detection and treatment. Bowel screening programmes are either running or are being piloted in Australia, the UK, most countries in the European Union, Korea, Japan, Israel and parts of Canada.

The Ministry of Health ran an RFP process to select a DHB and/or private provider to undertake the programme. Four proposals were received and were evaluated by expert groups.

For further information on bowel screening go to the Ministry of Health website


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