On 1 December 2017, the renewed National Cervical Screening Program replaced the pap test with a new protocol incorporating HPV testing and Liquid Based Cytology (LBC). Primary screening for HPV tests for the presence of oncogenic HPV. If HPV is detected, reflex LBC will be performed to determine if any cervical cell abnormalities are present. Results that were sent to the state-based Queensland Health Pap Smear Register are now sent to the National Cancer Screening Register.
Traditional pap smears are no longer covered by Medicare, instead a ThinPrep sample is required.
Cervical screening kits may contain both glass slides and ThinPrep collection devices such as sampler broom or spatula and endocervical brush. Simply discard the glass slides.
ThinPrep sampling protocols:
Patient self-collect samples can now be accepted. Please be advised that strict eligibility and specimen handling requirements must be adhered to.
|Eligible patients||Non-eligible patients|
- Please ensure you use a Copan 552C Floqswab, as this is the ONLY validated swab for this test. Queensland Health facilities can order through FAMMIS using material number 1037 2965.
- Send the swab to the laboratory. DO NOT rinse into ThinPrep solution.
Patient collection instructions and guidelines
A new request form has been developed to capture specific clinical information, which is required for Medicare reimbursement and acceptance of the results into the National Cancer Screening Register.
Download the cervical screening request form (PDF, 1.1 MB)—eligibility criteria for self-collect samples as well as collection and handling requirements are on the back of the request form.
Contact your local pathology laboratory for hard copies. For digital hospital sites you can order via ieMR.
Need more information?
Email the project team at CervicalCancerScreeningNCSR@health.qld.gov.au.
Refer to the following websites:
- National Cervical Screening Program—Department of Health, Australian Government
- Cervical screening—Queensland Health
- Cancer guidelines wiki—Cancer Council Australia
- Reporting and management guidelines—RCPA (The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia)
- Pathology Queensland's presentation from 28 November 2017 forum (PDF, 504.6 KB)
- Dr Caroline Harvey's presentation from 28 November 2017 forum (PDF, 2.5 MB)