Review of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program - Have Your Say

Closed 8 Jan 2021

Opened 27 Oct 2020


We are seeking your views on the Australian Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (the Program).

The Department of Health has commissioned an independent and comprehensive review of the Program. The Review will measure the extent to which the program is meeting its objectives and will inform further program improvements.

To find out more about the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Review, refer to the Terms of Reference below, and the Review's Consultation Paper at the end of this page.


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Why your views matter

As part of the Review, the Department is seeking your views. The perspectives and experiences of all participants and stakeholders, as well as interested members of the public, are valued and will be important in informing the Program’s future direction.

Bowel cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer affecting both men and women in Australia and the second leading cause of cancer-related death.

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program aims to reduce the burden of bowel cancer on the Australian community by detecting early signs of the disease when treatment is most effective. The Program is now offering biennial screening (every two years) to eligible Australians aged 50 to 74 years by sending a free and simple-to-use test in the mail. The test can be done at home and results are available soon after the test is sent by the participant via pre-paid envelope to the pathologist for analysis.  

Currently only about 42% of Australians who are invited to screen for bowel cancer complete and return their National Bowel Cancer Screening Program test. This means that many Australians are potentially living with early disease that if left undetected could lead to premature death.

Increasing participation is a key priority of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. A higher participation rate means more lives saved.

This consultation process is your opportunity to contribute to helping the Australian Government raise that participation rate. For further information refer to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Consultation Paper under 'Related', below.

You may find it helpful to consider the following questions to help frame your submission, or choose to answer the questions directly:

  1. What are the key enablers and barriers to participation in the NBCSP?
  2. What are your experiences with NBCSP recruitment and invitation, quality, timeliness, and clinician engagement?
  3. Are there any key equity of access challenges or opportunities that should be considered as part of ongoing implementation?
  4. Do you have any other comments or suggestions about the NBCSP?

All submissions should be made via this online portal. Questions should be directed to

What happens next

Key findings and recommendations from the review will be provided to the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt and are expected to inform the future strategic direction of the NBCSP.

The submissions provided will help to:

  • inform an understanding of what is working well and what could be improved about the NBCSP;
  • develop the scope and objectives of the new NBCSP Policy Framework.

Outcomes of any changes to the NBCSP Policy Framework will be published on our website:


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • Seniors
  • Men
  • Women
  • Carers and guardians
  • Families
  • Academics
  • Non-government organisations
  • State government agencies
  • Commonwealth agencies
  • Local governments
  • Health professionals
  • Health workforce
  • General public
  • Community groups


  • Policy Development
  • Cancer