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Bowel cancer pilot making a difference

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

9 August 2013

Bowel cancer pilot making a difference

The latest data from the Waitemata DHB bowel screening pilot shows in the first 15 months of the pilot, cancers had been detected in 75 people.

Around 60 per cent of cancers detected have been found at an early stage when they can be more successfully treated. And we’re getting world standard levels of participation in the programme, although more work is needed with some population groups.

Health Minister Tony Ryall will report on the $24 million bowel screening pilot latest results today at the First National Rectal Cancer Summit in Wellington.

Mr Ryall will also thank the surgeons, radiologists, and oncologists attending the Summit for their commitment to improving diagnostic and treatment services for people with bowel cancer.

“Significant work is taking place to further reduce waiting times throughout a patient’s cancer treatment, including wait times for colonoscopies, and I thank clinicians for their contribution in this work,” says Mr Ryall.

“Wait time indicators have been established to monitor how long patients wait for their colonoscopies. This is the first time New Zealand has ever had such indicators – colonoscopy wait times used to be essentially invisible until now.

“Although it is still early days, we are starting to see positive results.

“Figures released this week show 56 per cent of patients requiring urgent colonoscopies met the new waiting time indicator of 14 days. This is a marked improvement on 27 per cent reported in July last year when the diagnostic wait time indicators were introduced,” says Mr Ryall.

The National Rectal Cancer Summit was hosted by the New Zealand Society for Oncology.

ENDS

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