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King says audit report gives confidence

King says audit report gives confidence

Health Minister Annette King says the Cervical Cancer Audit report gives the women of New Zealand a greater degree of confidence in the screening programme.

Ms King says the report, released today, shows that the investment and effort put into the National Cervical Screening Programme since 2001 is paying off.

“The audit team has some concerns, which I share, that the screening programme is not reaching enough women, but the audit does provide a positive answer to a key question posed by the 2001 Gisborne Inquiry,” Ms King said.

“That inquiry asked if the programme is safe. The audit tells us that overall women and health professionals can have confidence in the services provided, and should be encouraged to participate in the screening programme.”

Ms King says the vital thing for us all to remember is that the ultimate aim of the audit has been to make the programme as effective as possible, and to encourage widespread participation.

“The key thing for all women in New Zealand to take from this is that unfortunately there are no guarantees, but the best chance of protection against cervical cancer is regular three-yearly smears.

“The audit provides a useful reminder that we must strengthen our efforts to encourage all women and particularly Maori women to participate fully in the screening programme.”

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