Who's behind the Cervical Screening Program?

The NSW Cervical Screening Program is a jointly funded Commonwealth/State and Territory initiative managed by the Cancer Institute NSW.

National Cervical Screening Program

The National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) aims to reduce the incidence of, and deaths related to, cervical cancer in Australia. The program encourages women aged between 18 and 69 years to have Pap tests every two years.

The program was established in 1991 as the Organised Approach to Preventing Cancer of the Cervix, when the Australian and State and Territory governments decided a nation-wide approach to screening for cervical cancer was required. It was renamed the National Cervical Screening Program in 1995.

NSW Cervical Screening Program

The NSW Cervical Screening Program (the Program or NSW CSP) is a jointly funded Commonwealth/State and Territory initiative under the National Healthcare Agreement. The Program is part of the National Cervical Screening Program.  As such, it operates in NSW within the national cervical screening Policies and Guidelines

The Cancer Institute NSW manages the NSW Cervical Screening Program and the NSW Pap Test Register through its Division of Cancer Screening and Prevention, on behalf of NSW Health [now NSW Ministry of Health]. The Institute is a government-funded agency that aims to reduce the impact of cancer in NSW.  The Cancer Institute NSW is responsible for priorities outlined in the NSW Cancer Plan 2011 to 2015, including:

Encourage participation in current screening programs where early detection of cancer improves survival (breast, cervical and bowel cancer) with more effective engagement of potential participants.

NSW Pap Test Register

An important component of the National Cervical Screening Program is the national network of Pap Test Registers. The NSW Cervical Screening Program oversees the NSW Pap Test Register. The Pap Test Register maintains records of women’s Pap tests and related follow-up tests and results and sends reminder letters when tests are overdue. There are similar registers in each State and Territory.

In NSW, the NSW Pap Test Register has collected and stored records of women’s Pap tests, follow-up tests and results, and issued reminder letters to women whose tests are overdue, since 1996. 

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