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Further delays to full screening registers for cervical cancer and bowel cancer


Amanda Lyons


7/03/2018 11:38:12 AM

The Department of Health has told newsGP that national screening registers for cervical cancer and bowel cancer are experiencing further delays to allow so-called system ‘bedding in’ issues to be addressed.

News teaser
The completion of the National Cervical Cancer Screening Register is now expected in June 2018, and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Register is expected in 2019.

‘The change to the new cervical screening test regime represents a big change for the health sector, especially the pathology industry,’ a spokeswoman for the Federal Department of Health told newsGP.
 
‘There are a number of system “bedding in” issues required to be addressed in order to ensure that the NCSR [National Cancer Screening Register] is receiving pathology test information that is complete, and that can be properly read and stored by the system.’
 
The first components of the new human papillomavirus (HPV) based cervical screening test and the NCRS, designed to collate and store patients’ bowel and cancer screening information from databases in all states and territories, were implemented on December 1 2017, seven months after the originally scheduled date of May 1 2017.
 
However, there is much work still to do, leading to further delays before the cervical and bowel cancer screening registers can be fully implemented.
 
The completion of the National Cervical Cancer Screening Register (cervical cancer register) is now expected in June 2018. The system work that remains includes ensuring that pathology test results can be matched to patient’s register listings, women’s screening pathways are correctly calculated on the basis of results, and state and territory registers are migrated to the national register.
 
The transition to a completed National Bowel Cancer Screening Register (bowel cancer register) is now expected to occur in 2019, with the delay due to having to allow for continued work on the cervical cancer register.
 
Despite the additional postponements, the Department of Health has said it wants to reassure GPs that they and their patients will not experience any lapse in service or safety, as the states and territories will continue to run joint cervical cancer register operations until the NCSR is complete. In addition, the bowel cancer register will continue to be operated by the Department of Human Services until it can be transitioned to the NCSR.
 
‘Continued joint register operations will ensure that patients are appropriately reminded and followed up, laboratories continue to have access to screening histories, and there will remain no gap in service,’ the Department of Health spokeswoman said.



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