A bowel cancer lobby group says many people with suspected bowel cancer are waiting too long to see a specialist.
Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa says waiting times for diagnosis also vary widely around the country.
The autonomous group says that contrary to treatment guidelines, only 48 percent of patients who are highly suspected of having bowel cancer get the necessary colonoscopy examination within two weeks of referral to a public hospital.
It says colonoscopy rates also differ between district health boards.
In Tairawhiti only 15 percent of patients were seen on time, in Nelson/Marlborough 31 percent, Waikato 36 percent, Auckland 44 percent and Capital and Coast 47 percent. The best performer was Canterbury at 62 percent.
The lobby also claims New Zealanders are being denied access to global standard drugs such as avastin and rituximab which are readily available in Australia, the UK and the United States.
The Government's current four-year pilot bowel cancer screening programme in Waitemata has so far found invasive bowel cancer in 130 otherwise healthy men and women over 65.
The report raises doubt over the ability to cope with any influx of patients from a national screening programme, when people who already show signs of invasive cancer are not being seen on time.