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Changes to Pap tests

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From 1st December 2017 two yearly pap tests will be replaced by five yearly cervical screening tests.

Women aged 25 to 74 are eligible for cervical screening tests every five years under the new cervical screening program.

The sample is collected the same as a pap test, however the test will be for human papillomavirus (HPV) which is known to cause 99% of cervical cancers.

If HPV is found on the test, a cytology slide is prepared and examined under a microscope for abnormal cells. Cytology slides are also prepared for women who have previously had abnormal pap tests or who have symptoms such as abnormal bleeding.

Once the testing is complete, your doctor will receive the result with a risk category to indicate when you should have your next test.

All results are sent to the National Cancer Screening Register, should you wish to opt-out, you need to call the register on 1800 627 701.

If you would like more information please contact the surgery or see the Dept of Health Cancer Screening website here.

 

Impending Retirement of Dr Vandenbergh

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After long and careful deliberation, I have decided to retire from general practice after no fewer than 44 years in various roles in primary care medicine. Effective date will be August 25 2017.

The decision was far from easy, but the prospect of battling inequitable government policies – a series of decisions which over time have eroded the manner in which doctors should be able to work, with a fair Medicare rebate so patients may obtain the best care with minimal impact on their wallets – is becoming increasingly unappealing.

Inevitably, the current Medicare and regulatory environment in which we are supposed to, and do, deliver the very best patient care, is having its impact on the work environment and practice as well. This, understandably, creates its own stresses, which after all these years I find increasingly difficult to cope with.

Overall, my time as a GP has been a very gratifying one, and I shall miss the patients who have made it all so worthwhile for so long. However, the time has come to look after myself and my family, and enjoy a few more years of productive retirement with them, and enjoy my grandkids and my little sailboat.

I wish to thank my patients for having put their trust and faith in me: I am sure that overall the working relationship between us has been a satisfying one.

 

Dr Hein Vandenbergh