National Screening Advisory Committee

The National Screening Advisory Committee (NSAC) provides high level strategic governance and leadership related to national population based health and disability screening programmes. NSAC reports to the Ministry of Health's Chief Medical Officer and the Deputy Director-General, Population Health and Prevention.

Role of NSAC

The role of NSAC is to:

  • provide leadership and strategic direction for national population based screening programmes
  • make evidence based recommendations about the case for implementing new population screening programmes, including consideration of their effectiveness, feasibility, likely harms and benefits, value for money, and impact on the health system
  • identify screening technologies of proven effectiveness which require central agency led and well-managed implementation as national screening or quality improvement programmes
  • advise whether to continue, modify or withdraw existing population screening programmes, particularly those programmes inadequately evaluated or of doubtful effectiveness, quality, or value
  • consider and endorse major changes within current screening programmes as raised by NSU advisory groups
  • consult and liaise with clinical leaders and experts on screening to obtain sound advice, referring appropriate issues for further research and commissioning evidence based review as NSU resources allow
  • undertake a horizon scanning function to provide guidance on emerging and future technologies suitable for population screening programmes.

To find out more about NSAC read the committee's terms of reference (doc, 32 KB)


The Committee is multidisciplinary with members chosen for their linkages to other health or academic groups as well as their individual skills, for example, expertise in public health, screening programmes, epidemiology, ethics and health economics.

Current members

Pania Coote (Chair)

Director, AwhiMai Consultancy, Māori Health and Strategy

Dr Jane O'Hallahan (Deputy Chair)

Clinical Lead Screening, Prevention Directorate, National Public Health Service, Te Whatu Ora

Dr Carol Atmore

Head of Department, Department of General Practice and Rural Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago

Dr Karen Bartholomew

Director, Health Outcomes, Service Improvement and Innovation, Te Whatu Ora

Professor Barry Borman

Associate Director, Professor in Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University 

Sheila Beckers

Consumer Representative

Professor Mark Elwood

Professor of Cancer Epidemiology, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland

Dr Gary Jackson

Director of Population Health Gain, Service Improvement and Innovation, Te Whatu Ora

Dr Nicholas Jones

Director of Public Health, Public Health Agency, Manatū Hauora

Dr Rawiri McKree-Jansen

Chief Medical Advisor, Te Aka Whai Ora

Professor John McMillan

Bioethics Centre, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago

Dr Katherine Neas 

National Clinical Director, Genetic Health Service NZ

Markerita Poutasi Director Pacific Health, Te Whatu Ora
Rami Rahal

Chief Executive, Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency

Dr Nina Scott

Director of Māori Equity Strategy and Research, Te Aka Whai Ora and Co-Chair Hei Āhuru Mōwai (National Māori Cancer Leadership Group)

Dr Pat Tuohy

External member (formerly Community Paediatrician, Hutt Valley DHB)


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Page last updated: 19 December 2018