PM announces screening plans7th January 2008
The Prime Minister has announced that people living in England will be eligible for health screening, which will be provided by the NHS.
The screening will be designed to seek out early indications of heart problems, stroke and kidney disease in patients.
Gordon Brown's speech put forward a plan for an increased array of tests performed by GPs in order to help with the diagnosis of patients. These tests could include ultrasounds and electro-cardiograms.
Mr Brown stated: "There are 200,000 deaths a year from heart and stroke disease. Many of them, indeed probably most of them, avoidable if we did the right things."
His view was that the new health screen represented "only the start" of a wider programme, which would include more breast cancer screening and "far more" action taken to prevent aneurysms.
He said that early abdominal aortic aneurysm cause the deaths of over 3,000 men a year and more than 1,600 lives could be saved with ultrasound screening.
Mr Brown said that the NHS needed to transform its services in the next 60 years from a "curative service...to being also a preventative service" which personally met patients' requirements.
He said that the health screening would be offered first to those most "vulnerable", and the cost had been put in the budget for 2008-11. He stated that the government would use advertisements in order to encourage patients to undergo health screening.
Mr Brown added that the "renewal" of the NHS would be at the top of the government's list of priorities and said their ultimate aim was for "deeper and wider reform" to form a health service "that is here for all of us but personal to each of us".
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