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Health and Community Services
October 27, 2011

New Initiatives Announced for Provincial Cervical Screening Program

Women from Newfoundland and Labrador will benefit from major enhancements to the Provincial Cervical Screening Initiatives Program announced today. This announcement coincides with Pap Test Awareness Week, which is taking place across Canada this week.

“Our government is committed to improving the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer and this will further advance the goals of the Provincial Cancer Control Strategy,” said the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and Community Services. “The Cervical Screening Initiatives Program receives approximately $1.9 million in Provincial Government funding each year to improve the coordination of cervical screening and increase participation in screening for women in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

As part of the program, the Provincial Cervical Cytology Registry, which is housed at Eastern Health, will be enhanced to improve the screening program. These changes include implementation of a follow-up system that will ensure that women with abnormal Pap test results receive care in a timely manner and women who are well screened and in low risk groups can extend intervals between Pap tests. The screening program will focus on providing Pap tests to those women who have not been screened recently.

“The new initiatives within the Provincial Cervical Screening Initiatives Program align closely with Eastern Health’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2014, which emphasizes a population health approach to support better health outcomes for our communities,” said Vickie Kaminski, President and CEO, Eastern Health. “Cancer screening and appropriate follow-up with patients will enable us to help prevent illness, detect cancer earlier, and allow for more effective treatment options for the women we serve.”

Since 2003, the Provincial Government has invested over $133 million in cancer prevention and treatment. The Provincial Cancer Control Strategy, released last year, focuses on a full range of activities to prevent cancer, detect cancer at an early stage, improve treatment and support the needs of individuals affected by cancer.

“New data indicates that three out of four women in this province have had a Pap test within the past three years,” said Joanne Rose, Provincial Director of the Cervical Screening Initiatives Program. “The challenge is to reach women who are not well screened, and we have designed outreach strategies to identify those women to their primary health care providers.”

Women are encouraged to attend one of the open Pap clinics being held throughout the province or to schedule one with their family physician. To locate a Pap clinic in your area or to learn more about cervical screening, contact the Cervical Screening Initiatives Program at 1-866-643-8719 or speak with your health care provider.

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Media contacts:

Jennifer Tulk
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 699-6524
Zelda Burt
Media Relations Manager
Eastern Health
Heidi Staeben-Simmons
Director of Communications
Western Health
709-637-5252, 632-4266

2011 10 27             10:15 a.m.

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