Pegasus Health and ScreenSouth recently cemented their commitment to supporting general practice with their cervical screening work. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Keiran Horne, the ScreenSouth Board Chairperson, and Mark Liddle, Manukura | CEO of Pegasus Health.
“This partnership just makes so much sense. ScreenSouth is founded on partnership and the relationship between Pegasus Health and Pacific Radiology Group,” says Keiran.
Over the past couple of years, cervical screening rates have fallen as the COVID-19 pandemic saw a shift in priorities for both GPs and patients.
In the last eight months, cervical screening rates in Canterbury have dropped from 68% to 66%, far below Ministry of Health targets of 80%.
ScreenSouth General Manager, Louise McCarthy, notes that it is a steady downward trend.
“With the impact of COVID, we have seen the equity gap is widening but we have also seen numbers come down for women in the total population as well. And that is not just Waitaha Canterbury, but across the country,” she says.
A pilot group of seven Pegasus Health practices has been selected to receive targeted help from a kaimahi and support worker to help improve their screening rates. They were chosen based on the number of priority group women, cervical screening rates and the rates for claiming funded screens. These practices were seen as those that could benefit the most from a targeted approach.
“It is about our teams working collectively and using the resources we have, to achieve the best outcomes. Pegasus Health is providing the kaimahi, ScreenSouth will provide the support worker and then we have got data and health promotion teams that can reach in and provide support,” says Louise.
Director of Hauora Maori and Equity, Irihāpeti Mahuika shared a whakataukī at the signing that reflects the importance of this partnership.
Ehara tāku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini
My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective.