Breast Density and Screening: Position Statement 2016

Michael Shephard made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health

The request was successful.

From: Michael Shephard

Delivered

Dear Department of Health,

I wrote to the Minister on 5 December 2017 seeking information on BreastScreen Australia's breast screen policy (your ref. MC17-021085). I received a reply dated 1 January 2018 from A/g Assistant Secretary of the Cancer, Policy and Services Branch (Phillipa Lowrey) indicating that 'The review and development of the 2016 BreastScreen Australia, Breast Density and Screening Position Statement, considered both the benefits and harms of reporting breast density to women in the BreastScreen Australia program.'

I have read the Position Statement and it contains no evidence that the benefits of reporting breast density to women had been considered. It states only the so-called harms. I therefore request a copy of the input to the Position Statement - the study that examined both sides of the issue (i.e. both benefits and harms) and which concluded that women should not be advised of the density of their breasts.

Yours faithfully,
Michael Shephard

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From: FOI
Department of Health

Attention: Michael Shephard

The Department has received your request to seek the input considered in drafting the current BreastScreen Australia Position Statement on Breast Density and Screening. I am writing now to seek clarification of your request.

The Position Statement was drafted following a review of relevant scientific literature. The complete list of evidence included in this review is provided on pages 3 and 4 of the Position Statement (http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/intern.... Evidence on the benefits of advising women about their breast density is discussed in several of these papers, however in the view of the Standing Committee on Screening, these benefits were outweighed by the harms of providing such advice. The four agencies that endorsed the Position Statement reached the same conclusion.

Given that this list is already publically available, could you please advise if you have any further questions about the Position Statement?

The FOI Unit will consider your request withdrawn if we do not receive a response from your by 23 February 2018.

You can contact the FOI Unit should you have any enquiries.

Regards

FOI Unit

Ministerial, Parliamentary and Freedom of Information Branch
People, Communication and Parliamentary Division
Australian Government Department of Health
T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [Health request email]

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

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From: Michael Shephard

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I have difficulty believing that every member (or perhaps any member) of the Standing Committee read all the papers referenced in the Position Statement. Either there would have been an assessment of all of these papers by an expert who subsequently made recommendations to the Standing Committee (in which case I want to see the assessment and recommendations) or the DOH simply rebadged work done by some other organisation (in which case, just tell me who).

I am part way through reading these references myself. My request is still open.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Shephard

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From: FOI
Department of Health


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment FOI 209 1718 Notice of Decision.pdf
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Attachment 209 1718 Document 1.pdf
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Attachment 209 1718 Document 2.pdf
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Attention: Michael Shephard

 

 

Please see attached correspondence in relation to your FOI request to the
Department of Health.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Unit

[1]cid:image002.png@01D152AA.D704F7C0

Ministerial, Parliamentary and Freedom of Information Branch

People, Communication and Parliamentary Division

Australian Government Department of Health

T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [2][Health request email]

 

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country
throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and
community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders
both past and present.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

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From: Michael Shephard

Dear FOI,

My request was for the terms of reference for the 2018 review of the BreastScreen Australia Breast Density and Screening: Position Statement. You sent what appears to be two draft documents that are probably work-in-progress outcomes from the review - however not the document I requested.

Thank you for those documents as they are useful. Please now send the document that defines the terms of reference for that review - whether this is a stand-alone document or the minutes of a committee (e.g. The Standing Committee on Screening) with the non-relevant matters redacted.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Shephard

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From: FOI
Department of Health

Dear Mr Shephard

Thank you for your email from Monday, 19 March 2018.

To assist the Department in processing your request, can you please clarify if you are seeking an Internal Review of the Department's decision of 14.03.18 relating to FOI 209-1718, or whether you are making a new request to the Department seeking "the document that defines the terms of reference for that review - whether this is a stand-alone document or the minutes of a committee (e.g. The Standing Committee on Screening) with the non-relevant matters redacted"?

Kind regards

FOI Unit

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch
Legal & Assurance Division
Australian Government Department of Health
T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [Health request email]

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

show quoted sections

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From: FOI
Department of Health

Dear Mr Shephard,

In relation to the below email, could you please provide a response to the Department by COB Tuesday, 27 March 2018.

Kind regards

FOI Unit
Legal Advice & Legislation Branch
Legal & Assurance Division
Australian Government Department of Health
T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [Health request email]

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

show quoted sections

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From: Michael Shephard

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I accept that as a result of responses and other information my requirement has morphed from my original request and therefore I withdraw my request for a review of your decision.

I will file new request(s) in due course.

Thanks

Yours sincerely,

Michael Shephard

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From: FOI
Department of Health

Dear Mr Shephard,

In relation to the internal review request, the scope of your initial request (FOI 209-1718) was for a copy of the input into the BreastScreen Australia Position Statement. The documents relating to the scope of this request have been provided to you.

A decision and document on your FOI request (FOI 226-1718) for the terms of reference for the 2018 review of the BreastScreen Australia Position Statement was sent to you today.

As your internal review request relates to the initial decision for FOI 209-1718, could you please advise the Department by COB Tuesday, 3 April 2018 if you wish to proceed with your internal review request.

Please contact the FOI Unit on (02) 6289 1666 or via email at [email address] if you have any questions in relation to this email.

Kind regards

FOI Unit
Legal Advice & Legislation Branch
Legal & Assurance Division
Australian Government Department of Health
T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [Health request email]

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

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From: Michael Shephard

Delivered

Dear FOI,

In your response dated 29 March you stated the following:

'A decision and document on your FOI request (FOI 226-1718) for the terms of reference for the 2018 review of the BreastScreen Australia Position Statement was sent to you today.'

Did you mean you sent it on 29 March? I have received no documents or decisions from you dated 29 `March 2018 so whatever you sent please send again. Unless of course you meant the letter of decision dated 8 March 2018. Let me know.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Shephard

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From: FOI
Department of Health


Attachment TRIM Freedom of Information Request 226 1718 Notice of Decision SEC UNCLASSIFIED.html
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Attachment image001.png
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Attachment Notice of Decision FOI 226 1718.pdf
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Dear Mr Shephard,

Please find attached the decision and document for your FOI request 226-1718, which was emailed to you on 29 March 2018.

Based on the document provided, could you please advise if you wish to continue with your internal review for FOI request 209-1718 by COB today.

Kind regards

FOI Unit
Legal Advice & Legislation Branch
Legal & Assurance Division
Australian Government Department of Health
T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [Health request email]

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

show quoted sections

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From: Michael Shephard

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I agree that I have received the requested information and that the request can now be closed. Thanks for your help.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Shephard

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