Breast screen bus comes to town
A mobile breast screening bus is visiting Waihi to offer eligible women free screening services.
Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation (WBOP PHO) offers free breast and cervical screening, in collaboration with general practices, and is asking women who have not been screened for more than five years to get in touch.
From Monday, June 18 until Monday July 16, a screening bus will be parked behind the old library on Seddon St, next to Waihi Memorial Hall. Women should make an appointment as they will have to fill a form on eligibility. (number below)
“Women have a vital and cherished role to play in the family unit and it’s important that they look after themselves,” Services Leader Philippa Jones says.
The WBOP PHO’s Support to Screening Service team receives referrals from GPs, the National Cervical Screening Programme and BreastScreen Aotearoa, of women who are overdue or who have never been screened before. These difficult-to-reach women are referred to Health and Wellness Services after multiple attempts to engage with them have failed.
“We want every woman in New Zealand to enjoy the same health status, and staying well through regular screening is an important step towards achieving this goal. Both cervical and breast cancer can be successfully treated if caught early enough,” Philippa says.
Last year, the WBOP PHO had 112 of these ‘hard to reach, high priority women’ attend for their cervical smears and 177 women for breast screening, surpassing expected Ministry of Health screening targets by 58 per cent and 177 per cent respectively.
“We have had women attend screening who have not been screened for 20 years, and some who had never been at all — one of the women was 69 years old.” she says.
“These are women who, for a variety of reasons, have not kept up with regular screening. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of extra encouragement and support to get them through the door. We offer support in a variety of ways, from home visits to helping to arrange babysitting and transport.”
Recent cervical screening figures show an overall uptake of 82 per cent of all women in the Western Bay,surpassing the national target of 80 per cent.
Health and Wellness Services is at 154 First Avenue, Tauranga and has a walk-in clinic Monday to Friday, and Saturday by appointment. The service also holds various community and workplace clinics, with a mobile breast screening bus visiting towns.
WBOP Primary Health Organisation’s Health and Wellness Services GP outreach wha¯nau nurses and breast screening services support staff, Waihi Tunbridge-Ross, left, and Margaret Dudley were in also in Te Puke last April.