GPs support bowel cancer program

DESPITE its troubles, Aust­ralia’s bowel screening program has been voted by GPs as the single most effective recent government preventive health strategy.

A Medical Observer survey of 491 GPs found 82% believed the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) had the greatest impact on patient outcomes, ahead of practice nurse MBS items (75%) and chronic disease management plans (74%).

Professor Ian Olver, chief executive of Cancer Council Australia, hailed the support for the partially implemented program as impressive, and surprising given its limited reach.

 “It tells us what a tragedy it is that the government has not announced any further funding for the current scheme [which ends this year],” he said. 

“Nor have they announced a plan to complete the scheme so that everyone 50 and over gets rescreened every two years.”

Older GPs, in particular, backed the NBCSP, with