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Government learnt of costly cancer screening delay before Christmas



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CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

GOVERNMENT LEARNT OF COSTLY CANCER SCREENING DELAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The Health Department revealed that they learnt of serious concerns around the delivery of the National Cancer Screening Register before Christmas, but didn’t feel the need to inform the public or GPs until last week - and only after the media had reported it.

The National Cancer Screening Register has to be in place before women can access the new cervical screening test - a test which by the Government’s own admission, will prevent around 140 cases of cervical cancer each year.

To make matters worse, taxpayers will now have to fork out at least $16 million more to fix the Government’s botched rollout.

Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King, said the revelations at Senate Estimates showed what an absolute disgrace the Government’s handling of the rollout has been.

“I am absolutely appalled that the Turnbull Government knew back in December that the National Cancer Screening Register would be delayed, and didn’t show women the respect to inform them,” Ms King said.

“The Turnbull Government’s handling of this has been an absolute disgrace - the cervical screening test has the ability to save lives and it is incredibly disappointing that the Government has stuffed it up so badly.

“After paying $220 million to Telstra, the delay is now going to cost taxpayers at least $16 million more - imagine what that money could do for something like research into gynaecological cancers.”

THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNE CLEARY 0428 816 751