Implementation of the renewed National Cervical Screening Program

Page last updated: 27 October 2017

It is apparent that based on the current schedule, the National Cancer Screening Register will not be ready in time for the publicised commencement date of 1 May 2017 for the National Cervical Screening Program.

This is due to the complexity of assimilating and migrating data from eight state and territory registers into one register. Other factors that have contributed to the delay include a lengthy pause during the federal election and the later than expected passage of the enabling legislation for the Register. Read more about the delay in the media release from Professor Brendan Murphy, Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer.

The implementation of the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is contingent upon a high quality register to support the new Cervical Screening Test. The National Cancer Screening Register will create a single electronic record for each Australian participating in cervical and bowel cancer screening. The National Cancer Screening Register will record and report screening data in a nationally consistent manner and inform timely clinical decision making.

The renewed National Cervical Screening Program will now be implemented on 1 December 2017. More information about the changes to the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is available at Future Changes to the National Cervical Screening Program.

It is important to get the implementation right and ensure preparedness of all stakeholders in the screening programs. The safety and quality of the screening program and ensuring confidence in our world-leading screening programs are paramount.

Until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is implemented, the cervical cancer screening program will continue. It is important that people aged between 18 and 69 continue to have Pap tests every two years and talk to their doctor or healthcare provider if they have any questions.

Read more about the delay to the implementation of the National Cancer Screening Register in the Frequently Asked Questions.