The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) has recommended significant changes to the National Cervical Screening Program.  They have indicated that as a result of the school based HPV vaccination program, (Gardasil injections), it is expected that fully vaccinated women will develop less cervical disease.  Because of this the Government has reviewed the program to determine the most advantageous screening program for all Australian women.

The proposed changes are:

  • HPV screening (screening for the human papillomavirus) should replace Pap testing as the Medicare funded screening test and should be done 5 yearly
  • Screening should commence at 25 and cease at 74
  • Women with symptoms (including pain or bleeding) can have a cervical test at any age

The new program is not scheduled to commence until 2016.

In the meantime women should continue to have their Pap smear tests at the interval recommended for them by their doctor.

We will keep you updated as more information comes to hand.