Cervical screening fiasco: Interim Medicare item introduced for HPV tests

The Federal Government will spend millions of dollars propping up the cervical screening system with a stop-gap Medicare item for liquid-based cytology.

The MBS item — which will have a rebate of $36 — will remain until 1 December, when the government says the full HPV screening program will begin.

In a further reform, the government will also increase the rebate for a Pap smear from the current level of $19.50 to $28. Liquid-based cytology tests currently cost women about $30.

The move is in response to the botched roll-out of HPV screening that was due to start in May, but was

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