The Wairarapa District Health Board has been allocated an extra $3 million in this year's Budget, the Government confirmed yesterday.

It was also announced that Wairarapa and Hutt Valley DHBs would be the first nationally to roll out the bowel screening programme in 2017.

The funding in new money will take Wairarapa DHB's total funding to $139 million for 2016/17.

DHB chairman Derek Milne told the Times-Age he was "absolutely delighted" with the news.


"It will greatly help us close the financial deficit that we have struggled with over the last three years."

He said the money gave the DHB "a realistic chance of balancing the budget" over the next few of years.

"It's a great lift for us as a board and I'm sure the staff will be very happy to hear the news."

Dr Milne also had a "big smile" over the fact that Wairarapa DHB had been selected to be one of the first to put the bowel screening programme into operation.

"It's very a relevant thing for us to be doing because of our older population here in Wairarapa," he said.

"The early screening will show up little things wrong that over time develop into bowel cancer, which requires extensive surgery and other treatment."

He said it was expected that once the programme was fully implement around New Zealand an estimated 700 lives would be saved nationally.

According to the Ministry of Health, the screening programme has the potential to reduce deaths from bowel cancer by at least 16 to 20 per cent, after eight to 10 years.

The programme will be progressively rolled out across the county between mid-2017 and the end of 2019, beginning with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs.

"I want to acknowledge the hard work the Minister of Health (Jonathan Coleman) did in finding the extra new money," Dr Milne said.

"He went out to bat for DHBs in a big way and I'm sure I speak for all DHBs when I say we express our gratitude and acknowledge him for that."

The Government announced an extra $2.2 billion would be spent on health over the next four years.

This extra funding includes over $39 million for the bowel screening programme, $124 million for new medicines, $96 million for more elective surgery and $42 million for vulnerable groups -- to be spent on healthy homes, mental health access and alcohol and drug support for pregnant women.