Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced $1.8 million is being invested over two years for the national roll out of a programme to improve endoscopy services.
Endoscopy services include colonoscopies and gastroscopies and are used to diagnose conditions such as bowel cancer and stomach ulcers.
“The endoscopy quality improvement programme aims to ensure all New Zealanders receive the same high standard endoscopy care, no matter where they live in the country,” says Mr Ryall.
“District health boards (DHBs) will also be monitoring how long patients wait for services such as colonoscopies. This will provide us with a better understanding of services and capacity across the country.
The endoscopy quality improvement programme has been piloted at Waitemata, Lakes, Wairarapa and Canterbury DHBs and will be rolled-out nationally in stages, starting February 2013.
The programme will be operationally based at the Bay of Plenty DHB and will be headed by clinical leaders, Dr David Theobald, and Jenni Masters.