Prepare for increase in cervical screening enquiries
In December 2017, the cervical screening test replaced the pap test in Australia and this event coincided with the migration of state and territory records to the national register, as the national register became responsible for all program correspondence.
Since January 2019, the register has been sending correspondence and the volume of these letters have increased to address a backlog, which is anticipated to be cleared by March 2019.
Some healthcare providers may experience an increase in patient enquiries and requests for cervical screening tests during this period. Women should be reassured by their cervical screening test providers that while it is recommended that asymptomatic women aged 25-74 years undergoing routine screening have their first HPV-based screening test two years after their last pap test, the risk from delaying their test for a few months is extremely low.
If you are unsure of your patient’s cervical screening history or status call the National Cancer Screening Register team on 1800 627 701 or visit www.ncsr.gov.au.