Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says final preparations are underway for the National Bowel Screening Programme to begin in Hutt Valley and Wairarapa.
“Every year more than 3,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer and more than 1,200 die from it, so it is important that the programme is now being rolled out,” says Dr Coleman.
“Eligible residents, aged 60 to 74, living in those DHB areas will be invited to take part in the National Bowel Screening Programme. Other DHBs will join in stages over the next three years.
“When the programme is fully implemented more than 700,000 people will be invited for free screening every two years. It is anticipated that once bowel screening is available nationwide, in the early rounds between 500 and 700 cancers will be detected annually.
“The Government allocated $39.3 million over four years in Budget 2016 for the establishment of the National Bowel Screening Programme. Budget 2017 provides a further $38.5 million to build on that rollout.
“The introduction of the programme follows on from the successful pilot that has been run by Waitemata DHB since late 2011. Waitemata will continue screening through the pilot until the end of this year and transition to the national programme in January 2018.
“Southern and Counties Manukau DHBs will be the next to join the rollout and the nationwide rollout will be complete 2020.
Further information about the National Bowel Screening Programme is available at www.bowelscreening.health.govt.nz.