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    Jan van der Spek

    Am I missing something in this whole argument? This proposal, if it goes ahead, starts at a future date. Within 12 months, the whole PAP smear testing process changes anyway, requiring a new set of item numbers. I am not aware of the arrangements in other states, but in Victoria at least, these tests can be sent for assessment at Victorian Cytology Service FREE OF CHARGE ! There has been no indication so far, to my knowledge, what the future arrangements will be, so this option may disappear after Cervical Cancer Screening tests change in 2017! Even if a charge is made, the ANNUAL out-of-pocket cost per test per patient (remember it is a 5 year interval!) is only $6.00!!!!! One cup of coffee, or a serving of take-away food PER YEAR to detect and avoid cancer and this is too high??? GET REAL! I don’t think so. Some personal commitment to self-preservation and good health is needed here. And don’t bother with the argument about the “low socio-economic” communities/individuals – so many of them have no qualms about buying junk food, cigarettes and alcohol instead of being self-reliant in their own and their children’s health! I get very cynical about the arguments about some contribution from the household budget for appropriate preventive health care not being affordable when one sees this so often.

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