How are decisions about screening programmes made?

The National Health Committee has developed a list of criteria against which decisions about new screening programmes can be assessed.

These criteria are:

  • the condition is suitable for screening
  • there is a suitable test
  • there is an effective and accessible treatment or intervention for the condition
  • there is high-quality evidence that a screening programme is effective in reducing death and illness
  • the potential benefit of the test should outweigh potential harm
  • the health sector should be capable of supporting diagnosis, follow-up and programme evaluation
  • there is consideration of social and ethical issues; there is consideration of cost-benefit issues.

For further information, see the document Screening to Improve Health in New Zealand: Criteria to assess screening programmes, National Health Committe (2003).

Page last updated: 22 November 2014