A review of the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) has recognised its success in reducing cervical cancer, while suggesting areas that could be strengthened to ensure the programme’s continued effectiveness.
The screening programme, which is credited with preventing 750 cervical cancers and saving 100 lives a year, is reviewed every three years.
The review focuses on continuous quality improvement to reduce the incidence of and mortality from cervical cancer. The NCSP is one of the screening programmes overseen by the Ministry of Health’s National Screening Unit (NSU).
"I am really pleased to see participation rates have improved and that there has been a subsequent decline in rates of cancer of the cervix” said Mrs Turia.
“But the report is also a timely reminder to ensure that the right support is in place to increase coverage for Maori, Pacific, and Asian women” says Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tariana Turia.
“I take on board also the finding that enhanced leadership capacity – including population health, public health and screening expertise – is urgently required within the Programme to improve upon progress.
"The report has a number of findings and recommendations that the Ministry of Health will be looking at over the next few months and how we can improve the programme so it is delivering a better more efficient service".
“I want to thank Jeffrey Tan, Linda Thompson and Roberta Howlett for their expert work on the Review Committee and acknowledge all contributors who have contributed to the wider goal of decreasing the burden of disease related to cancer of the cervix.
A copy of the Report can be accessed at www.nsu.govt.nz/4613.aspx