14 Apr 2014

Labour wants bowel pilot extended

4:41 pm on 14 April 2014

A pilot bowel cancer screening programme in Waitemata should be extended nationwide, the Labour Party says.

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Photo: PHOTO NZ

Labour leader David Cunliffe said a Labour government would roll out the programme nationwide within three years.

The Waitemata programme was set up in 2011 to screen people aged 50 to 74 for bowel cancer. It had tested 58,500 people and found 129 cases of bowel cancer.

"The Government has not yet committed to rollout, prevaricating (while) waiting on an evaluation," Mr Cunliffe said.

"We think that the answer is obvious - 129 cases of bowel cancer have been detected through the Waitemata pilot alone. That's compelling evidence that it works."

The rollout could cost up to $70 million a year.