About the National Bowel Screening Programme

The National Bowel Screening Programme will be rolled out progressively throughout New Zealand, starting with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards (DHBs) in July 2017. Other DHBs will follow 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 Programme in January 2018. Information on the Pilot is available on the Ministry of Health website.

Once the programme is fully rolled out, bowel screening will be offered every two years to men and women aged 60 to 74 who are eligible for publicly funded health care.

The DHBs which will start screening in the 2017/18 financial year (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018) are:

  • Waitemata DHB
  • Hutt Valley DHB
  • Wairarapa DHB
  • Counties Manukau DHB
  • Southern DHB

The following DHBs are expected to begin screening in the 2018/19 financial year (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019):

  • Northland DHB
  • Auckland DHB
  • Waikato DHB
  • Hawkes Bay DHB
  • Whanganui DHB
  • MidCentral DHB
  • Capital & Coast DHB
  • Nelson Marlborough DHB
  • Canterbury DHB
  • South Canterbury DHB

The final group of DHBs, which are set to begin screening in the 2019/20 financial year (1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020), are:

  • Bay of Plenty DHB
  • Tairawhiti DHB
  • Lakes DHB
  • Taranaki DHB
  • West Coast DHB

These are provisional start dates only. Each DHB must demonstrate their ability to deliver a safe and effective bowel screening service before they can join the national bowel screening programme.

More information on the National Bowel Screening Programme is available on the Ministry of Health website.

Who is eligible?

The free National Bowel Screening Programme is being offered to men and women aged 60 to 74 who are eligible for publicly funded health care.

When it is your turn to be screened you will be sent an invitation letter, a consent form and a free bowel screening test kit.

You'll receive your first invitation within two years of the programme starting in your area.

Governing legislation

Who can access participant information

Information about any further assessment or treatment you may need as a result of participating in the National Bowel Screening Programme will be collected from both public and private health services and used to monitor and evaluate the National Bowel Screening Programme.

Personal information and data are collected, stored, accessed and destroyed to a standard that complies with the Health Privacy Code 1994.

Making a complaint

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights allows you to make a complaint in a way that is appropriate for you.

If you want to make a complaint about this programme or the service you have received, you can phone the National Bowel Screening Programme on 0800 924 432 for more information about the best options for you.

You can also get information from the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner. Call 0800 112 233 or visit the Health and Disability Commissioner website.

Page last updated: 05 May 2017
0800 924 432