The Department of Health is closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health services. The National Cervical Screening Program (the Program) is encouraging healthcare providers to continue to offer routine screening and follow up. However, we recognise under the current circumstances that patients may be feeling uncomfortable or worried about attending for screening, and healthcare providers/clinics have different capacities and arrangements for managing their patients.
The Program is receiving a number of enquiries from healthcare providers about how best to support their patients during this time. We have developed overarching guidance to assist clinician decision-making on screening appointments including deferral and rescheduling, depending on individual patient circumstances. In addition, the Program has developed guidance for the management of patients requiring further investigation and treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the cancellation of elective surgeries. This guidance is supported by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Australian Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.
The Department of Health will continue to monitor COVID-19 impacts on the program, and provide any future updates on the Department of Health Cancer Screening website.
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