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Cervical Screening Programme not up to scratch

Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokeswoman

8 December 2003

Cervical Screening Programme still not up to scratch

The National Cervical Screening Programme is still not up to scratch, says National's Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.

Dr Scott is commenting on the Auditor-General's report released today on What further progress has been made to implement the recommendations of the Cervical Screening Inquiry?

"Two and a half years after the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry released its recommendations the National Screening Unit is still dragging its heels," says Dr Scott.

"The programme isn't medically led as recommended. It's under the control of a third-tier manager who doesn't have a specialist medical qualification in public health or epidemiology.

"There has been slow progress in standards, monitoring and evaluation of service providers. A review of operational policy and quality standards is not likely to be implemented for sometime, and the Cancer Audit is currently two years behind schedule," says Dr Scott.

"The report also highlighted the need for continued independent monitoring and more open and collaborative interaction with stakeholders by the NSU.

"Kiwi women deserve better than this. They need to know the mistakes of Gisborne have been corrected, and that the National Cervical Screening Programme is operating effectively," says Dr Scott.

Ends

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