Second Warning That Screening Unit In Trouble
The resignation of the clinical director for the National Screening Unit is the second warning in less than a month that the screening programme is in trouble, Green Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.
The resignation follows warnings from international expert Dr Euphemia McGoogan last month that the unit was in crisis, and that Dr Julia Peters was severely over-loaded and over-stretched as clinical director.
"Dr Peters' resignation shows how urgent it is that the Minister of Health makes it a priority in the next budget to properly fund the unit," said Ms Kedgley.
"In our view, the Minister should also set up the unit independently to give the clinical director more authority."
Ms Kedgley said clearly the lack of funding and support had taken its toll on Dr Peters, leading to her decision to remain involved only on a part-time basis.
"Her resignation is a major loss of experience and knowledge from the unit, and will do nothing to restore women's confidence in the screening programme."
"What is the point of maintaining a national register and running a $33 million cervical screening programme if women do not have confidence in it, and therefore are less likely to get regular smears?" she said.