will not be lowered
Māori bowel cancer patients are disappointed the Ministry of Health will not drop the national screening programme eligibility age to 50 for Māori and Pasifika, who get the cancer on average much younger than non-Māori.
The ministry's own expert advisory group recommended the minimum age for bowel screening be dropped from 60 to 50 for Māori and Pasifika.
However, due to "higher than forecast demand" for screening services, which were "placing pressure on colonoscopy capacity", district health board officials did not recommend dropping the age.
It also said it would have a "minimal equity impact" compared to other cancers, such as lung cancer, where the inequities for Māori and Pacific were higher.