It appears that the Government’s new cervical screening program, which was developed to replace the pap smear, will not be rolled out on May 1st as originally promised.
According to a federal health department communique from February 22 obtained by The Herald Sun, the new test has been delayed because its “safety net” would not be ready in time.
As the new cervical screening program only requires women to be tested every five years – as opposed to the pap smear’s two – pathology staff numbers have reportedly already been reduced in preparation. Women due for cervical screening in May onwards are now likely to experience delays in receiving their results.
The Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare, MP Catherine King, says the Government has secretly “bungled” the rollout of new cervical and bowel cancer screening programs and have failed to tell the Australian people.
“It is absolutely appalling that the Turnbull Government has botched up something so important – a cervical screening test which will literally save the lives of women around the country,” King said in a press release.
“Only yesterday the Health Minister was talking up the importance of the new test – when was he going to have the decency to admit that he has completely stuffed this up?”