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Colorectal Cancer: Screening

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects bowel screening to be available in the Province; and if he will make a statement. (119304)

My Department is working with the health service to enhance the capacity of the symptomatic service, with the aim of introducing bowel cancer screening in 2009.

Before a full programme can be implemented in Northern Ireland, detailed planning is required in order that the introduction of bowel screening does not adversely impact on services for those patients with symptomatic disease. In addition, infrastructure development and capacity building is required so that the necessary resources, people and skills are in place to ensure a quality service. My Department is currently working with the relevant health professionals to address these issues and thereby enhance the capacity of the symptomatic service.