Every newborn baby in Australia is offered a test for rare, yet serious, medical conditions. Healthcare providers have offered newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) to babies in all states and territories in Australia since the 1960s. Screening aims to improve the health of babies by identifying those at risk of developing a serious condition, which enables early intervention.
The NBS program is one of the Australian Government’s population-based health screening programs. Engaged by the Department of Health and Aged Care, AHA provides comprehensive secretariat services to the NBS Program Management Committee (PMC) and relevant working groups.
The PMC comprises representatives from each state and territory, who are responsible for implementing NBS. The PMC supports the consideration of operational issues, information sharing and forward planning, and provides guidance on the review of conditions for inclusion in or exclusion from the NBS program.
Our success in secretariat roles is built on our team’s strong experience in public health as well as our eye for detail, organisational skills and ability to flex to meet our clients’ needs at short notice. Building collaborative relationships with committee members and other stakeholders is central to our approach. Our breadth of knowledge and deep engagement with the subject matter strengthens our services, as does our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement.
In Australia, about 99% of babies receive bloodspot screening – more than 300,000 babies every year. Of the babies screened, around 1 in every 1,000 has a condition that would otherwise have gone undetected.