Southern access to scans boosted

Photo: ODT Files
Photo: ODT Files
A funding boost is set to improve access to PET-CT scans for those in the South Island.

Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand had approved funding an updated national set of criteria that will allow for about 1000 more PET-CT scans a year to be publicly funded, the government announced this morning.

Health Minister Dr Shane Reti said New Zealanders would now have the same access to PET-CT scans no matter where they lived.

It was significant for those who might be impacted by cancer, he said.

“It’s a great step forward in making sure all New Zealanders have the same access to diagnostic technology to help clinicians determine the best treatment options.

“For example, before this nationally applied criteria was developed, men in the South Island had to pay for prostate PET-CT scans that men in most of the North Island didn’t pay for. This removes variation, like this, that previously existed.”

The changes to increased access to PET-CT scans were estimated to cost about $3million per year. 

The updated criteria would be in place across the country by mid-March.