"Private medical insurance is the only reason my husband is still here"

In New Zealand, we are lucky to have a robust public health system, that we know will be available to us should we require urgent treatment. However, there are time when we require care outside of the public sector.

Health screening programs are designed to screen for illnesses for those who are most at risk. But what happens if you are 36 and need to have a colonoscopy? This was the case for Brad Beveridge. His wife, Isis Carter, wrote an article for Stuff and their assignment "Beating cancer is not beyond us".

She says "Private medical insurance is the only reason my husband is still here, as at 36 years old he was too young to qualify for public screening programs. New Zealanders are not getting colonoscopies as screening through the public health system is difficult to access unless you are over 60 years old or your symptoms are severe".

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of colorectal/bowel cancers in the OECD countries, and colorectal cancer is the third highest cause of cancer death here. Early diagnosis could make a huge difference in a cancer patient's treatment and survival rates.

Click here to read Isis Carter's story: 'Embarrassment could've robbed my kids of their dad'.


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