BreastScreen Aotearoa provides a breast screening service for women aged 45 to 69. Eligible women can have a free mammogram every 2 years to check for breast cancer.
Mammograms are provided at clinics and mobile units throughout New Zealand. It is important to return every 2 years so that breast cancers are found when still small.
You can choose whether or not to take part. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any concerns.
BreastScreen Aotearoa has been running since 1998 with the aim of saving lives by:
- making the service free to eligible women
- providing the specialised staff and equipment to take mammograms
- providing assessment services
- keeping in touch with enrolled women to remind you when a mammogram is due
- monitoring the outcomes of the programme
- providing a safe and high quality service.
Who runs the screening programme?
The breast screening programme is run by the National Screening Unit within the Ministry of Health. We manage both the BreastScreen Aotearoa and National Cervical Screening programmes for New Zealand women. Find out more on the National Screening Unit website.
If you change your address, phone 0800 270 200 to let us know. That way we can send your next appointment letter to the right place.
Protecting your privacy
Your privacy is protected by the Health Information Privacy Code. You can read about the code on the website of the Privacy Commissioner.
Under the Health Information Privacy Code, we store mammograms and records securely and confidentially.
To help monitor the quality of the breast screening programme, we may also collect:
- information about the treatment you have received and may need in the future
- your clinical information, mammograms and reports.
Information from the breast screening programme can be collected by the Ministry of Health or its agents using your National Health Index number. Collecting this information helps the Ministry of Health continuously improve the screening programme.
At BreastScreen Aotearoa clinics and mobile units your rights are protected by the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.
During breast screening and when talking to BreastScreen Aotearoa you have the right to:
- be treated with respect
- be treated fairly
- dignity and independence
- support and care that suits you
- be told things in a way you understand
- be told about your health
- make choices about your care and support
- have a support person or people with you
- decide if you want to be part of training, teaching or research
- make a complaint.
You can ask for more information about your rights when you visit a BreastScreen Aotearoa clinic or mobile unit. You can also read more about your rights on the Health & Disability Commissioner website.