Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark officially opened Hawke’s Bay’s new gastroenterology and endoscopy services building at Hawke’s Bay Hospital today (Tuesday 2 October 2018). The $13 million dollar facility will boost the hospital’s ability to prevent and treat gastro and bowel conditions, including bowel cancer.
Chief executive Kevin Snee said the opening of the building was an exciting step forward for the region in the detection, treatment and prevention of gastric and bowel disorders, including bowel cancer.
“The opening of this facility is great news for our patients who can be diagnosed and treated in a purpose-built facility with all patient-based gastroenterology services in one place. It’s also a fantastic result for our teams who have been working on this since 2012,” he said.
“Gastroenterology is a fast growing area of health and with the national bowel screening programme starting in Hawke’s Bay 9 October, the demand will only increase as we screen, detect and treat early signs of bowel cancer,” said Dr Snee.
The Minister along with guests heard from both Hawke’s Bay staff who led the development and health consumers who have spent time with the gastro team about what the service and new building means to them.
Clinical lead of gastroenterology, Dr Malcolm Arnold said over 21,000 New Zealanders live with inflammatory bowel disease and many others are as yet undiagnosed. The condition is increasing in frequency throughout the world and New Zealand has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world.
One in 18 males and one in 21 females will experience bowel cancer by the age of 75 in New Zealand, and the NBSP will identify cancers earlier and allow us to remove precancerous polyps which will in the medium to long term reduce the incidence of bowel cancer.
“Hawke’s Bay’s population has a significant number of gastroenterological problems, many of which are undiagnosed. This facility combined with the rollout of the national bowel screening programme in Hawke’s Bay means we can catch cancer at its early stages when people are not experiencing symptoms, and can more readily investigate symptoms which may be in keeping with IBD and provide earlier, more effective treatment. This will make a real difference in the lives of many patients and their families in Hawke’s Bay each year” says Dr Arnold.
The community are invited to attend the open days for the new facility, which is located near the hospital’s main entrance, on Saturday 6 October and Sunday 7 October between 11am and 1.30pm during the open days.