There's been an important change to eligibility criteria for priority women cervical screening to now include funding to enable screening women over the age of 69 who were unscreened or underscreened.
The current policy in New Zealand is to continue regular screening up to age 69 years, however, people over 70 years of age who are unscreened or under-screened remain at risk of cervical cancer (Landy, 2015; Lynge, Lonnberg, Tornberg, 2017).
It is therefore important to have adequate screening prior to ceasing screening at age 69. The new policy in this regard is as follows.
- People who have been regularly screened and who have had at least two consecutive normal cytology samples between 62 and 69 years can cease screening at age 69 years.
- People who have not been adequately screened at a younger age and who have not had two normal cytology samples reported between 62 and 69 years of age should have two cervical cytology samples taken 12 months apart, and can cease screening if both are negative.
- People aged 70 years and older who are unscreened should have two consecutive normal cytology samples taken 12 months apart before ceasing cytology screening.
- People with abnormal results at any age should follow the recommended NCSP guidelines for follow-up and management. Note - The results of women over 70 years will be recorded on the NCSP Register, but health providers need to take responsibility for adequate follow-up in this group, as the NCSP Register may not provide recall back-up.
indici patient prompts have been changed and Medtech will be updated shortly.
The Lakes, Waikato, Taranaki and Tairāwhiti programme pages have been updated to reflect this change.