Further support for bowel screening roll-out

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health


25 May 2017

Budget 2017 will invest $38.5 million of new operating funding over four years to further support the staged implementation of the national bowel screening programme, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

“Around 3,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year. The Government is committed to better access to early detection and treatment,” Dr Coleman says.

“The roll-out of the national bowel screening programme is on track, and begins in Wairarapa and Hutt Valley DHBs in July this year. The additional funding will support the roll-out to Southern and Counties Manukau DHBs during 2017/18.

“Once fully implemented, the programme is expected to screen over 700,000 people every two years. We know that bowel screening saves lives by detecting cancers at an early stage when they can more easily be treated.

“The investment in a national bowel screening programme builds on the successful Waitemata DHB pilot, which has been running since 2012.”

Once in place, DHBs will offer people aged 60 to 74 a bowel screening test every two years. More than 80 per cent of cancers found through the pilot were in those aged 60 to 74. Screening in this range will maximise the number of cancers found while minimising the number of cases where problems are not found.

In line with international best practice for adoption of screening programmes, it is being implemented in a staged approach.

The $38.5 million over four years is made up of $26.1 million of new operating funding and $12.4 million which has also been set aside in contingency.

This builds on the $39.3 million invested in Budget 2016 to get the roll-out underway.

The Government has also invested $15 million since 2013 to deliver more colonoscopies and reduce colonoscopy waiting times across the country.

Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129


Last updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017

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