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2015 has seen significant advancements for bowel cancer research with the initial results publicly released in August from the PIPER project, New Zealand’s largest ever study of colorectal cancer.
A further boost of $12m was also allocated in this years government Budget to extend the pilot bowel screening programme to December 2017. Whispers from doctors around Auckland DHB’s tell me the launch of a national bowel screening programme is on the horizon.
Hospital staff have had meetings this month on how they will cope with the bowel screening programme which they expect to launch soon. It is understood they have it firmly planted in their short term plan so it's likely it will tee of sometime next year.
As expected, the official word from a Senior Health Advisor to the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman is that the Ministry of Health are currently finalising the business case for a national bowel screening programme which will be subject to Budget 2016 decisions.
The Minister expects the business case will be completed well in time for Budget 2016.
I predict that a restricted national bowel screening programme will be launched within the third quarter of 2016 with an official announcement to be made within the May 2016 budget.
Watch this space…
Georgina Mason CEO Bowel Cancer Foundation