Young women invited to have their first pap test

Eight out of 10 women in Australia who are diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had regular pap tests. On 1 July 2016, the NSW Cervical Screening Program launched an invitation project for 'never screeners'. This project uses Medicare data to identify women in NSW aged 25 to 34 years who have never previously participated in cervical screening. A letter or email will be sent to selected identified women to encourage them to book their first pap test.

The project will run for three months and it is anticipated that general practices and other pap test providers may experience an increased number of women enquiring about pap tests, or making appointments for their first pap test, over this time.

Evidence suggests that women are more likely to have a pap test if their doctor reminds them it is due. Furthermore, regular pap tests can reduce the risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer by up to 96%. Therefore, the NSW Cervical Screening Program encourages all GPs and pap test providers to talk with their patients, particularly those who have never previously been screened, about having a pap test every two years.

We can support your practice to systematically identify and recall women who are due or overdue for a pap test, including using HealthLink secure messaging software to obtain your overdue lists. This in turn will allow you to work towards claiming the cervical screening PIP. For more information, speak to a member of the Quality Improvement Team.

For more information about the NSW Cervical Screening Program, please visit the Cervical Screening NSW website.