(1 minute to read)
The Finance Minister, Bill English, has earmarked $12.4m to extend the Waitemata DHB Bowel Screening Pilot Programme due to end in December this year, in his 7th Government budget.
Referred to as a stalling tactic by one charitable group, The Bowel Cancer Foundation see it as a temporary measure until the Government can find more specialists to screen patients and roll out a nationwide programme.
“Everyone knows our workforce is inadequate, but every other countries workforce is the same. I don’t know one country who has got it completely right,” said CEO of Bowel Cancer Foundation, Georgina Mason.
It would be ludicrous to roll out a nationwide programme at this time without the proper measures in place to cope with the increased demand that would be placed on our current system,” she said.
More than 35,800 people received a colonoscopy last year up from 29,000 in 2013.
“It’s great to see that the number of colonoscopies have increased. On average GP’s order around 40,000 colonoscopies a year in this country but there has been a shortfall in the number being performed. The latest figures released are encouraging,” she said.
Bowel Cancer Foundation is actively raising funds to promote the use of new technologies to help reduce the colonoscopy waiting, by donating lower bowel pill cams in the short term and helping to train colorectal nurses in the long term.
Bowel Cancer is the second largest cancer killer in New Zealand with around 3000 new cases registered each year and over 1,200 people dying from it. More people die from Bowel Cancer than Breast and Prostate cancers combined.