§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will extend the policy of giving cervical smear tests to all women over the age of 18 years.
§ Sir George Young
The present policy, recommended by the independent body of experts who form the committee on gynaecological cytology, is that routine screening for cervical cancer should be offered routinely every five years to all women over 35 years of age and younger women who have been pregnant on three or more occasions.
General practitioners receive a fee for such screening. They and doctors in ante-natal, family planning and certain other clinics also take cervical smears from women as part of a normal medical care, and, in fact, over half the total number of smears taken are from women under 35 years of age.
The routine cervical screening policy is at present being reviewed by the committee on gynaecological cytology. I expect to receive its conclusions shortly and will, of course, give them full consideration.