Govt takes action to drive better cancer services

Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says the launch of a new mobile breast screening unit in Counties Manukau reinforces the coalition Government’s commitment to drive better cancer services for all New Zealanders.

Speaking at the launch of the new mobile clinic, Dr Reti says it’s a great example of taking health services directly into communities and is expected to reach up to 6,000 women a year.

“This new mobile clinic helps make it easier for more women to get breast screening done, with a focus on reaching those who are under screened or who have never been screened.

“It’s a perfect example of being close to communities – in Counties Manukau, this service will partner with community groups and local marae to help raise awareness and support. It will also visit locations that people travel to frequently, like shopping centres.

“The new mobile unit has a mammography machine and IT equipment to transmit images, as well as an internal waiting area. 

“Mobile breast screening clinics continue to be a really important part of reaching our communities, particularly for those who don’t have access to transport or who live in rural or remote areas.

“Mobile units like this one will also play an important role in the rollout of the new age extension we announced recently, and Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora will be looking at requirements for more mobile clinics.

“I’m really pleased to be able to include this in the suite of cancer initiatives we’ve already got cracking on:

  • Introducing a faster cancer treatment health target - 90 per cent of patients to receive cancer management within 31 days of the decision to treat
  • Increasing breast screening eligibility for 70 – 74 year olds
  • Funding two new cancer drugs for breast cancer and acute myeloid leukaemia
  • Funding South Island PET scanning accessibility which will especially benefit men with prostate cancer
  • Implementing a new cancer radiotherapy machine at Whangārei Hospital so 520 Northlanders a year will no longer have to travel to Auckland for treatment
  • Expanding cancer infusion services in Whanganui for up to 10 patients a day 

“We know cancer touches thousands of New Zealand families each year, and that’s why addressing wait times for cancer treatment was something the Government prioritised as one of its five key health targets.

“We know there’s still a lot more to do. As Minister of Health, I will drive a vigorous new direction on behalf of a Government determined to deliver for all New Zealanders. 

“Today I also want to acknowledge the hard work of our health staff, who work across cancer screening and treatment to help improve health outcomes for cancer patients,” Dr Reti says.