Bet­ter care for bowel con­di­tions

Fa­cil­ity opened at HB’s hospi­tal

CHB Mail - - News -

Hawke’s Bay Hospi­tal’s new en­doscopy and gas­troen­terol­ogy unit means more co-or­di­nated and ac­ces­si­ble care for those af­fected by bowel con­di­tions, Health Min­is­ter David Clark believes.

Ruako­pito — a $13.1 mil­lion fa­cil­ity — is the first of its kind in the coun­try and was of­fi­cially opened yes­ter­day.

“I’ve heard the loud and clear calls from bowel pa­tients and wha¯ nau for bet­ter di­ag­no­sis, treat­ment, ac­cess to spe­cial­ist ser­vices and sup­port­ive care,” Mr Clark said.

“All the ser­vices these pa­tients need will be avail­able in a sin­glepur­pose build­ing. They’ll be able to get the help they need in a much more ac­ces­si­ble way.”

The new unit co­in­cides with the re­gion join­ing the free Na­tional Bowel Screen­ing Pro­gramme (NBSP) on Oc­to­ber 9.

Let­ters will be sent to el­i­gi­ble res­i­dents aged be­tween 60 and 74.

Gas­troen­terol­ogy depart­ment head Dr Mal­colm Arnold said more than 21,000 New Zealan­ders lived with in­flam­ma­tory bowel disease (IBD) and many oth­ers were un­di­ag­nosed.

The con­di­tion is in­creas­ing through­out the world and New Zealand has one of the high­est rates. One in 18 New Zealand males and one in 21 fe­males ex­pe­ri­ence bowel can­cer by 75. The NBSP would iden­tify can­cers ear­lier, mean­ing pre-can­cer­ous polyps could be re­moved ear­lier, re­duc­ing the in­ci­dence.

“This will make a real dif­fer­ence in the lives of many pa­tients and their fam­i­lies in Hawke’s Bay each year,” Dr Arnold said.

Mr Clark said the pro­gramme was par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on en­cour­ag­ing Ma¯ ori and Pasi­fika peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate, as Ma¯ ori were of­ten di­ag­nosed later which could re­sult in worse out­comes.

“I know Hawke’s Bay DHB will be putting a lot of ef­fort into en­gag­ing with Ma¯ ori and Pasi­fika com­mu­ni­ties to pro­mote the ben­e­fits of early de­tec­tion.”

‘All the ser­vices these pa­tients need will be avail­able in a sin­gle-pur­pose build­ing.’ HEALTH MIN­IS­TER DAVID CLARK

PHOTO / DUN­CAN BROWN

HBDHB chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Kevin Snee (left) with Min­is­ter of Health Dr David Clark and gas­troen­terol­ogy depart­ment head Mal­colm Arnold in the new gas­troen­terol­ogy and en­doscopy build­ing at the Hawke’s Bay Hospi­tal.

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