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Govt double standard on cervical screening

Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokeswoman

10 December 2003

Govt double standard on cervical screening

"The Cervical Screening Programme is being put at risk by a Health Minister who is determined to apply different standards to private and public health providers," says National's Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.

Dr Scott says officials from the Auditor-General's office today confirmed that laboratories at Auckland Hospital and Canterbury Health have been exempted from processing the required number of cervical smears.

"While private laboratories are required to process 15,000 smears a year and adhere to legislated quality standards, these public laboratories are being let off the hook," says Dr Scott.

"This appalling double standard jeopardises the effectiveness of the Cervical Screening Programme.

"The Minister would never allow this in the private system, why does she allow it in the public one?" asks Dr Scott.

"The Government may be willing to accept lower standards in our public health system, but National is not.

"The Minister must explain this double standard to New Zealanders and assure us that quality standards for the Cervical Screening Programme will be met," says Dr Scott.

Ends


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