18 Jul 2023

Changes in the cervical screening programme, what you need to know

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 18 July 2023
Cervical screening pamphlet

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

 There's been a slight delay to the start date for the big changes coming to the national cervical screening programme offering a new option for women to test themselves. 

Currently women and people with a cervix, aged 25 to 69 are eligible for a cervical smear test every three years. 

The new system, introduces HPV testing as the primary screening test. It was initially going to be implemented later this month but this has now been put off until September. 

Te Whatu Ora has announced $7.3 million in funding to provide free cervical screening services for priority groups, including Maori and Pasifika and this has caused a delay to roll out of the self test programme.

To discuss the implications for reducing the incidence of cervical cancer :  Auckland obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Gill Gibson who is currently the vice president and president elect of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

And the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) clinical director Dr Jane O'Hallahan