National Bowel Screening Programme

A national bowel screening programme will be rolled out progressively from 2017.

Budget 2016 has provided $39.3 million over four years to begin implementation of the National Bowel Screening Programme (NBSP). This will cover the design, planning and set-up phases. Additional funding has also been set aside for work that will support the IT needed for a national programme.

The programme will offer bowel screening every two years to eligible people aged 60 to 74 years.

The roll-out will begin with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards (DHBs), with other DHBs following in stages. Bowel screening will continue to be offered to eligible people at Waitemata DHB, which will transition from the pilot to the national bowel screening model over the course of the roll-out.

It is expected that a national coordination centre will be established by 2018 to manage and send screening invitations and coordinate the processing, analysis and management of completed bowel screening test results. DHBs will be responsible for delivering colonoscopies, overseen by four bowel screening centres that would support clinical leadership, ensure patients have been notified of results, and manage quality and equity in their area.

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