BC health minister tells health authorities to fix long colonoscopy waits

Colonoscopy in VancouverThere was an interesting article in the Vancouver Sun recently on Colonoscopy wait times in BC. A new provincewide cancer screening program is being overwhelmed by demand, flooding regional health authorities with more tests, resulting in a backlog that can mean a wait of months instead the recommended eight weeks. More from the article below:

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in B.C. More than 3,000 people are expected to develop it in B.C. this year and more than 1,200 will die. If treated early, the survival rate is close to 90 per cent.

The government’s new screening program started in late 2013. It includes a take-home stool test, paid for by the province, for residents aged between 50 and 74. If traces of blood are found in the sample — which could indicate cancerous tumours in the colon or rectum — the patient is referred for a colonoscopy.

“In some ways we’re a victim of our own success in terms of the screening program,” said Lake. “Because so many people have been screened, then that puts pressure on the next stage which is the colonoscopy. It is an unintended consequence of a very good screening program but it is something we’re committed to addressing.”

Click here to read the full article “B.C. health minister tells health authorities to fix long colonoscopy waits

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