The National Bowel Screening Programme is exacerbating Māori health inequities
This statement has been developed in association with Hei Āhuru Mōwai, Māori Cancer Leadership Aotearoa by Drs Sue Crengle, Nina Scott and David Tipene-Leach.
Platform Statement
The NBSP as it is currently being rolled out will increase bowel cancer inequities for Māori and the 60 – 74 year age range is the major driver of this. Te ORA are of the view that the age range for Māori should be lowered to 50 years of age.
Situational analysis
At least half of Māori bowel cancer (60% female and 50% male) is diagnosed before the age of 60 years compared to less than a third (30%) of non-Māori bowel cancer (male and female). The change of the Waitemata Pilot Study screening age (50 – 74 years) to the more restricted 60-74 year age range will mean that most bowel cancer in Māori will not be diagnosed by this screening programme. Non-Māori bowel cancer mortality will fall as intended because the age range of the screening suits detection of bowel cancer in non- Māori and most cancers will be detected.

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