Breast screening providers double efforts following COVID disruption
Breast screening providers have put in a big effort to reduce backlogs created by the COVID-19 disruption - with an increase in screening of Māori and Pacific women in June and July 2020.
BreastScreen Aotearoa manager Maree Pierce says the pausing of services due to COVID-19, inevitably increased wait times for breast screening but, because of the hard work of screening providers, good progress was made on the catch up.
‘We are particularly pleased to find that immediately after the national lockdown period our call to prioritise screening of Māori and Pacific women saw higher than usual screening volumes for these women.’
“In June and July, an average of 16 percent more eligible Māori women had breast screening than in the same time the previous year, and 10 percent more eligible Pacific women. The figure for ‘other ethnicities’ was 9 percent.”
Breast screening numbers reduced again in August, because the Auckland region went back into COVID-19 level three and screening rates overall have dropped as a result of the COVID-19 disruption. Continuing to increasing participation by wahine Māori remains a priority for BreastScreen Aotearoa.