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National Cervical Screening
Program: interim arrangements
QUICKER WAY TO
Perkins Institute of
from the University
and a group of
pioneered a faster
method for finding
the best antibiotic to treat an infection – a breakthrough with
the potential to save lives.
The researchers from the Perkins Translational Renal
Research laboratory developed a way of determining
antibiotic susceptibility for a patient’s individual strain of
bacteria in a matter of hours instead of the usual 2-6 days.
Patients with serious infections cannot wait that long for
treatment, so doctors must prescribe broad-spectrum
antibiotics while they wait for lab results. This can reduce
the good bacteria in our guts and on our skin, and increases
the risk of antibiotic resistance – leading to the rise of
Perkins researcher Kieran Mulroney said it’s important that
doctors can identify the appropriate treatment to prescribe
as soon as possible.
“For patients with serious infections, every hour without
appropriate antimicrobial treatment can mean as much as a
10 per cent increase in risk of mortality. If we can treat them
with appropriate antibiotics 21 hours faster, the chance of
that patient surviving is much higher,” Mr Mulroney said.
The new method involves taking a small number of bacteria
and exposing them to antibiotics for a short window of
time. A flow cytometer is then used to examine individual
bacterial cells and determine the damage the drug is doing.
The World Health Organization recently declared antibiotic
resistance a serious threat to global public health. Most
recent estimates suggest that, if we do not take action, as
many as 250 million people may die by 2050 as a direct
result of drug-resistant bacterial infections.
THE RENEWAL OF
the National Cervical Screening
Program will commence on 1 December 2017, a delay of
seven months from the initial date of 1 May 2017.
Until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program
is implemented, Australia’s world-class cervical cancer
screening program will continue. It is important that
women aged between 18-69 years continue to have
Pap smears every two years and attend follow-up
appointments when due.
The following interim arrangements have been made:
From 1 May - 30 November 2017:
The Liquid Based
Cytology (LBC) test, for which previously women were
billed privately, has been added to the Medicare Benefits
Schedule (MBS). For each patient, a Medicare rebate
will only be payable for one cervical screening test for
cytology, either the LBC test or the conventional cytology
test. If you choose to do both tests, doctors need to inform
patients that they will incur an out-of-pocket cost.
The LBC test will be set at a Medicare fee of $36 per test
and will exist alongside the rebate for the conventional
Until 1 December 2017, turnaround times for cervical
screening test results may be longer than usual; however
this is still clinically safe for women.
It is important to inform patients that the LBC test is as
effective as the conventional cytology test.
Please liaise with your pathology provider about the
scope of cervical screening technologies they offer and
for advice about preparing conventional slides or LBC
From 1 December 2017:
The Medicare items for cervical
screening will change on 1 December 2017 when
the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is
implemented. More information and resources about these
changes will be available closer to the time.
N E W S
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If you have any questions in relation to the interim
arrangements or the renewal of the National Cervical
Screening Program please email@example.com
A particularly helpful resource for GPs and other
healthcare professionals is the page,
Kieran Mulroney, lead
author of the research paper detailing