The long-awaited information to access the blood screening programme for firefighters, trainers and fire investigators is here!

This was a significant part of the health and wellbeing programme that the NZPFU achieved in the bargaining for the current CEA.  Similar programmes internationally have proven to save lives through the early detection of changes and early diagnosis resulting in more options for treatment and better chances of recovery.

Career firefighters, trainers and fire investigators who are members of the NZPFU can access the blood screening programme funded by FENZ up to $250 per year or $500 every two years.  The purpose of this programme is to have our members who are exposed to the hazards of a fireground access appropriate blood testing for a baseline and then ongoing monitoring against that baseline for occupational illnesses and disease including cancers and heart disease.

The programme is based on the life-saving Christchurch programme that was established by the Local and implemented by the MeNZ Clinic under the guidance of Dr Lewis Ball.  Dr Ball has generously provided the guidance information we attach.

The goal is to have Locals arrange the implementation of the programme through designated medical centres and GPs in their area.  That will ensure annual reminders to the members who are participating in the programme to be  re-tested and to have those results discussed against the previous year’s results.   The other options are to organise by Station or District or to organise your own testing with your GP.

The NZPFU will be organising Zoom meetings for Local representatives shortly.   Once the Local representative Zoom meetings are completed we will hold general membership information meetings by Zoom.  

Please see attached:

  1. A copy of the relevant clause in the Collective Employment Agreement.   This clause applies to career firefighters, trainers and fire investigators who are members of the NZPFU.
  2. The FENZ reimbursement process up to $250 annually, or you can elect to be tested every two years and claim up to $500 reimbursement. You can have the reimbursement paid upon confirmation of the cost prior to the testing being undertaken.
  3. A letter from Dr Ball to the eligible NZPFU member/patient with guidance on the programme.

TO PROVIDE TO YOUR GP

  1. A letter from Dr Ball to provide guidance to the GP who will undertake the testing programme: 2024 BLOOD SCREENING INFORMATION FOR GP
  2. Dr Ball’s advice on the scientific basis for the screening: 2024 NZPFU BLOOD SCREENING REVIEW SUMMARY
  3. Dr Ball’s example of the testing and information to be discussed with the patient: 2024 BLOOD SCREENING EXAMPLE FOR GP

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

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