6 Aug 2020

Health Ministry told to ditch 'substandard' cervical smear test

From Morning Report, 6:50 am on 6 August 2020

Doctors want the Ministry of Health to ditch a "substandard" cervical screening test, saying it is costing lives.

They are urging the government to bring in a programme that allows patients to screen themselves for cancer risk.

Some Māori women who took part in a trial of the self-administered tests told researchers they'd had such bad experiences with past tests they'd rather risk cancer.

Wai Research senior researcher Georgina Martin who interviewed more than 20 women about their experience said the self test, rather than the traditional speculum test, allowed them to maintain their dignity.