Better care for bowel conditions
Facility opened at HB’s hospital
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
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.