Ah-Leen Rayner, chief executive of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, said: “Health NZ’s review is an acknowledgement of the crucial role of screening in protecting women’s health and we welcome the appointment of Dale Bramley, who is highly respected across the sector, to undertake this work.
“I strongly hope that ‘quality’ includes meeting timeliness targets. The Wellington situation is a painful reminder that delayed mammograms put women at risk, and right now there’s a backlog of 50,000 overdue mammograms nationally. It’s horribly ironic that days after a Budget which delivered mammoth healthcare investment, a major problem in screening has been admitted, yet no money was allocated to improving the service.
“I’m very hopeful this process will result in breast screening participation being added to the Government’s Health System Indicators, given that breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women under 65 in Aotearoa – that’s the best way to ensure the equity and quality the review is looking for.”