The National Cancer Screening Register (the Register) is a national electronic infrastructure for the collection, storage, analysis and reporting of screening program data for the renewed National Cervical Screening Program and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

From 1 December 2017 the Register replaces the existing eight separate state and territory cervical screening registers – one in each state or territory. In 2018, the Register will replace the existing National Bowel Cancer Screening Register. As a national Register it provides a single record for individuals’ cancer screening histories and supports program participants wherever they live in Australia.

It will provide ongoing clinical data to appropriate health professionals to support quality improvement and service delivery.

Why the need for a national Register?

  • Each year almost 16,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer, and 900 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer. The need to build Australia’s capacity to screen for these cancers is a national priority.
  • The National Cancer Screening Register optimises screening for and preventing these cancers by capturing a single electronic record for each person in Australia participating in cervical and bowel screening. We use invitations to screen, reminders when screening is overdue, and follow up of adverse results, to support prevention and early detection of cancers.
  • The Register is a leading digital health service that holds nationally consistent health information in a central location, while allowing electronic access to this information to support timely clinical decisions.
  • We will provide a high quality, safe and cost-effective health service to help prevent cervical and bowel cancers.

How will the Register support the National Cervical Screening Program?

We will support the National Cervical Screening Program by: 

  • Maintaining a national database of cervical screening records 
  • Inviting eligible persons to commence cervical screening when they turn 25 years
  • Reminding participants when they are due and overdue for cervical screening
  • Providing a participant’s cervical screening history to laboratories to inform screening recommendation
  • Providing a ‘safety net’ for participants who are at risk and who have not attended further testing, by prompting them to have follow up tests.
  • Enhancing strict data security – data collected by the Register is protected by legislation and is maintained under the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016 and other relevant laws.