Self-collection of samples in the National Cervical Screening Program on hold
Self-collection of samples should not be offered to women with the commencement of the renewed program on 1 December 2017 until further notice from the Department of Health. The test is not claimable against the MBS as laboratories are not yet accredited to perform the test. Self-collection can only be implemented when the laboratory and platform testing processes and equipment attain the various accreditation requirements.
One of the components of the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is the introduction of self-collected samples for HPV testing. The self-collection option has been included in the program to encourage women who are over 30 and have never had a screening test, or who have declined a clinician collected sample and are overdue for testing by at least two years, to participate in cervical screening.
It is important to note, the policy settings, clinical guidelines and protocols including eligibility criteria, clinician education and training materials, and MBS claim items are all in place to support self-collection for the renewed program. Self-collection can only be implemented when the laboratory and platform testing processes and equipment attain the various accreditation requirements, including those of NATA.