Breast screen bus comes to town

Waihi Leader - - News -

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.

PHOTO / FILE.

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.

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