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Some SA nurses will be trained to provide colonoscopies

Photo: Nurses to perform some SA colonoscopies
The number of people seeking colonoscopies in South Australia is expected to rise so some nurses in the state to will be trained to perform the procedure.

Some South Australian nurses will be trained to provide colonoscopies to people at a low risk of bowel cancer so the disease can be caught early more often.

The state government says it is investing $1.7 million on the project, involving nurses performing the process under supervision from a specialist doctor.

People at a high risk of the disease will still be treated by specialists.

Health Minister Jack Snelling says the initiative will help grapple with the number of people in SA needing colonoscopies doubling to 7400 over the next three years.
"Our population is ageing and demand for this procedure is increasing, so this modern approach to key to tackling that," he said in a statement on Friday.

"We know that early detection is key to helping South Australians beat bowel cancer."

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation SA has welcomed the move, after years of campaigning for new advanced clinical roles for nurses.

"Given the challenges of our health system - rising demand for health services and budget pressers - fully realising the potential of nurses and midwives is not just sensible, it is essential," the branch's secretary Elizabeth Dabars said.

More than 4000 Australians were estimated to have died from bowel cancer in 2015, second only to lung cancer, with 431 people in SA among them.


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