‘No delay’ on cervical screening review

The review chair, Perth gynaecological oncologist Professor Ian Hammond, said a committee formed last week would hold its first meeting before December and report to government mid-2014.

By then almost a decade will have passed since the 2005 NHMRC recommendation that the screening interval in Australia “be reviewed as soon as possible”.

Frustration over delays was evident as details of the review were revealed at the Preventing Cervical Cancer conference in Melbourne on 11 November.

A federal health department officer was quizzed from the floor on whether the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP), which has turned 20 years old, would remain unchanged “until 2020”.

“Over my dead body would be my answer,” said Professor Hammond, who was unable to attend the conference but spoke afterwards to MO.

“I queried this myself because I wasn’t prepared to chair the