Budget investment will save Hutt Valley lives

Hutt Valley news
Friday, May 27, 2016

Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, is applauding the choice of the Hutt Valley as one of the first regions rolling out the national bowel screening programme.

Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman yesterday announced $39.3 million over four years for a progressive roll-out of the cancer detection programme, starting with the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs.

“This announcement is a life-saver for the Hutt Valley,” Mr Bishop says.

“Bowel screening will save Hutt Valley lives by detecting cancers at an early stage, when they can more easily be treated. When fully implemented, the programme is expected to screen over 700,000 people every two years.

“Bowel cancer is diagnosed in 3,000 New Zealanders each year. It is a real problem and this Government is providing real solutions. This funding follows additional funding to enable the IT support, as well as $15 million in investment since 2013 to deliver more colonoscopies and reduce waiting times across the country.”

The national bowel screen programming will start in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs and will be followed by a progressive roll-out across the country. The investment builds on the successful Waitemata DHB bowel screening pilot running since 2012.

Once in place, DHBs will offer people aged 60 to 74 a bowel screening test every two years. More than 80 per cent of cancers found through the pilot were in those aged 60 to 74. Screening in this range will maximise the number of cancers found while minimising the cases where problems are not found.