Bowel screening? Keep an eye on the weather

The Department of Health and Ageing said it began consulting the weather data after the importance of temperature became known in 2009.

“We found that there were some heat stability issues with the buffer serum in the testing,” department official Nathan Smyth told the Community Affairs Legislation Committee.

“We now look at Bureau of Meteorology data and send kits out in the cooler periods of the year.”

Thousands of people were invited to re-test in 2009 after the buffer in their supplied kits became unstable in the hot summer months, returning unreliable results.

The program, which received an additional $50 million in last year’s budget, is moving towards a five-yearly screening interval but may face a “capacity issue”, officials told the committee last week.

People turning 60 this year will start receiving test kits from July. Those who turn 70 in 2015