Legislation establishing a new National Cancer Screening Register aimed at saving lives through increased detection, treatment and prevention of cancers has been passed by Parliament today.

The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, said the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) is a major health program and its passage today showed that the Turnbull Government was getting legislation through the Parliament and getting on with business.

Labor’s attempts to thwart the legislation had threatened to delay the introduction of a new, better test for screening cervical cancer.

The NCSR will facilitate the introduction of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) test for more effective screening for cervical cancer risk in May next year. It will also enable the ongoing expansion of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program for the benefit of all Australians 50-74 years of age.

The NCSR will replace eight separate State and Territory cervical cancer screening registers and an outdated, paper-based bowel cancer screening system. It will ensure more timely, efficient notification and follow-up and will save lives through early detection and better clinical management.

Ms Sussan Ley, said: “The passage of the Bill setting up the National Cancer Screening Register will help ensure Australia remains a world leader in the field of cancer detection, treatment and prevention.

“The Australian Government remains committed to saving lives through more efficient screening processes and co-ordination and the new national register is an important part of this process.

“Cervical and bowel cancers are largely preventable with regular screenings. It was imperative that this passed in order to improve prevention and survival rates from some of the most deadly cancers.”

Ms Ley was critical of the attempts by Labor and the Greens to delay and block passage of the legislation to establish the new register.

“We passed this legislation despite Labor trying everything they could to delay this legislation, putting the lives and wellbeing of Australians at risk.

“Labor has no policies other than ‘Mediscare’ lies and attempts to scare Australians is a cover up for their health policy vacuum.”