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Cervical cancer criticism devastating

Cervical cancer criticism devastating

The constant stream of devastatingly critical reviews of the cervical cancer screening programme has come to resemble a French farce, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

Combined with the failure of the Government to implement key recommendations to ensure the screening programme is safe and effective, the programme has become something of a joke; putting at risk the health of thousands of New Zealand women.

"The time has come for the Government to either stump up and find the resources to run the programme properly and implement the long-overdue recommendations, or abandon it all together," Ms Kedgley said.

"What is the point in maintaining a national register and running a multi-million dollar cervical screening programme, if women can have no confidence in it? One has to question the efficacy, value and purpose of the entire National Cervical Screening Programme.

"When an international expert is unable to reassure New Zealand women that the national screening programme is safe and effective, or that the mistakes made in Gisborne have not happened elsewhere, one has to question the purpose and value of the programme.

"What is the purpose of women having regular smears if they have no confidence in the screening programme, and no idea at the end of the day if their smears have been accurately read or not?

"I would have thought that one of Government's priorities in this term would have been to sort the ludicrous situation out; and make sure that women getting a smear test can be confident it would be read properly."


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