Breast screening service may change

Breast cancer screening in the south may need to be outsourced to private providers after the health board announced it would review the sustainability of services.

Southland and Otago clinics have been unable to recruit medical staff to operate the services.

Southern District Health Board patient services executive director Lexie O'Shea said the service relied on support from staff at other district health boards and that support would end next July.

About 16,500 women a year were screened in the board's breast-screen health care service.

The board was exploring two options to ensure the service would be continued.

"We find a way to continue to deliver a sustainable service as a DHB, or we do not renew our contract with Breast Screen Aotearoa, to allow them to find a more sustainable provider for the service," Ms O'Shea said.

Access to the service would not change under a new provider.

National Health Board director of national services and purchasing Jill Lane said it was hard to deliver quality services without filling specialist positions.

The Southland Times