Public funding for the cell enrichment liquid-based cytology (CE LBC) in routine screening for the prevention of cervical cancer has been supported by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).
The historic decision has provoked commendation from Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDC), a leading global medical technology company.
A lengthy and comprehensive review of the safety, clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of CE LBC led to MSAC finding CE LBC is as safe and effective as conventional cytology.
Cytology is the science of diagnosing cancer and diseases by studying the detailed structure of cells.
CE LBC provides a number of advantages over conventional methods of diagnosis, including a reduction in the number of blood cells, inflammatory cells and non-diagnostic cellular debris in the sample.
This means the quality, quantity and viability of cells used for testing in the laboratory are vastly improved.
MSAC has delivered advice to Minister for Health Peter Dutton, supporting the public funding via a new Medical Benefit Schedule.
The move is a significant advantage for women who undergo routine screening for the prevention of cancer, according to Kevin Barrow, Managing Director for BDC in Australia and New Zealand.
"At the moment, less than 1 in 5 women are tested using liquid-based cytology technology when presenting for a routine pap test. Once the new MBS items are assigned for CE LBC, all women, irrespective of their financial status, will have the opportunity to be tested using modern CE LBC," Mr Barrow said in an October 21 statement.
"BD supports the comprehensive approach to the prevention of cervical cancer through education, participation in the National Cervical Screening Program, proper test follow-up and treatment based on established clinical guidelines."
Australian women who may be considering private health insurance to cover future medical costs should get in touch with the team at HICA today.
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