21 Oct 2019

Shortage of staff hampering screenings for bowel cancer

From Morning Report, 6:13 am on 21 October 2019

A senior gastroenterologist says many more specialists and others are needed to provide a key procedure that is vital to screening for bowel cancer. Whanganui District Health Board will become the ninth region to roll out long-awaited screening for the cancer killer, likely followed by MidCentral next month. Screening under way since 2017 has already found 400 cancers and hundreds of potentially pre-cancerous polys have been removed. But the immediate past president of the Gastroenterology Society, Michael Schultz, says 50 more people are needed to carry out colonoscopy procedures. He told RNZ's health correspondent Karen Brown without extra staff the continued rollout will be a struggle.