More Bowel Cancer Screening Will Save Lives

The Abbott Government is honouring our election commitment to fast track the full implementation of biennial screening in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme for all Australians aged 50 to 74.

Page last updated: 13 May 2014

PDF printable version of More Bowel Cancer Screening Will Save Lives (PDF 89 KB)

13 May 2014

By 2020, Australians between 50 and 74 years of age will be able to get free screening for bowel cancer every two years.

Around 80 Australians die each week from bowel cancer.

The good news is that, if detected early, it can be treated and cured. Screening is most effective when it’s done at regular intervals.

Screening saves lives – and enabling people to screen every two years can save up to 500 lives each year. The test is easy, effective and can be completed in the privacy of your own home. This will also take pressure off the health system by providing early detection and requiring simpler treatment.

The 2014-15 Budget delivers $95.9 million to expand the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. The expansion will be done in stages:

    • 74 year olds will be added in 2015-16 (70 year olds will also start screening then)
    • 72 and 64 year olds added in 2016-17
    • 68, 58 and 54 year olds added in 2017-18
    • 66 and 62 year olds added in 2018-19; and
    • 56 and 52 year olds added in 2019-20.
All eligible Australians will be invited to screen, free of charge, in the appropriate year.

This initiative honours the commitment of the Government to the Australian people. The commitments we made at the election were fully funded, ensuring no additional pressure on the Budget.

For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220

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