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PET Scan Funding

( Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced the Government will increase funding for PET scans for up to 550 extra cancer patients per year. In 2008/09 about 650 people received publicly funded PET scans.

“The extra $1 million funding allows us to almost double the number of cancer patients offered PET scans, which enhance the diagnosis and treatment of the disease,” Mr Ryall says.

PET scans are a specialised scan used to detect and evaluate some cancers, and can provide information about whether the cancer has spread, and whether surgery would be of any benefit.

Up to 40 percent of patients may have their treatment plans revised after a PET scan. In some cases patients are able to avoid the stress of unnecessary surgery or other interventions.

At present, the number of PET scans provided by District Health Boards (DHBs) varies across the country, because it is dependent on where they can find money to pay for the scans.

“This additional funding will be available to DHBs based on their populations to ensure there is much more equal access for patients, no matter where they live,” Mr Ryall said.

DHBs have access to an $800,000 funding boost this financial year. This will increase to $1 million per year from 1 July 2010.

Media Release 30 May 2010 from Hon Tony Ryall, Minister of Health.
Telephone: (04)817 6804



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