National bowel cancer screen should be GPs' responsibility

The foundation is calling for GPs to take control of mailout Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) with an annual reminder sent out to patients and for the test to be expanded to include people aged 40–49.

Currently only 35% of eligible Australians participate in the mail-out program, but Professor Terry Bolin of the Gut Foundation said that the results of a pilot study in Wagga Wagga last year increased patient participation to 80%.
 
“If the pilot program was expanded nationwide we could expect participation rates of about 65%,” Professor Bolin said.

“GPs should be the driver of this, they are in a position to give advice to people that they do not get in a mail-out kit.

“Screening for bowel cancer should be part of all cancer and health screening programs, like screening for prostate cancer or hypertension it should be part of GPs' preventive practice methods.”

President of the RACGP, Liz