Bowel screening roll out reaches halfway point

News article

14 November 2019

The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme (NBSP) has reached the half way mark with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme.

MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, joined this week, extending the programme’s coverage to 360,000 eligible 60-74-year-olds throughout the country.

NBSP Programme Director Stephanie Chapman acknowledges the work done by the DHBs that have launched the programme.

"It requires a lot of work to get to the 'go live' point and we acknowledge the effort those DHBs have put in. Their communities will benefit from this programme into the future, with a reduction in deaths from bowel cancer, which takes the lives of 100 New Zealanders every month."

Since the NBSP began, in July 2017, it has screened about 189,000 people and found more than 420 cancers, as well as removing hundreds of pre-cancerous polyps.

The Programme, which is designed to detect cancers early when they can often be successfully treated, directly aligns with the Government's new Cancer Action Plan, which will steer New Zealand’s cancer strategy for the next decade.

The National Bowel screening Programme is now available in Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Waitemata, Southern, Counties Manukau, Nelson Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Lakes, Whanganui and MidCentral DHBs. The national roll out is expected to be completed by mid-2021.