Enrolment in the National Cervical Screening Programme
After you’ve had your first smear test, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the National Cervical Screening Programme – joining more than 1 million other women.
Benefits of being in the programme
The National Cervical Screening Programme means every woman who takes part contributes to, and receives the benefit of cervical cancer prevention – we’re all helping each other, every time we take a test.
The programme also helps you by:
- making smear tests free for women who are eligible
- providing you with information
- ensuring you get referred for follow-up treatment
- providing the results to your smear taker
- making sure your doctor or smear taker reminds you when you need your next smear
- providing laboratory services to test your sample
- storing your smear history in a safe place for reference next time
- making sure the programme delivers a good service
- funding services that support women through the cervical screening process
- training and support of smear takers.
If you’re in the programme, some of your information will be stored in the National Cervical Screening Programme Register. You can find out more at Storing your results.
Withdrawing from the programme
You can choose not to be enrolled and still have a smear test, but your information will not be stored on the register. You and your smear taker will need to work out the best way to manage your reminders and results. Don’t worry – you can re-enrol at any time.
Talk to your smear taker about how to withdraw from the programme or fill in the 'Request to withdraw from the National Cervical Screening Programme' form here.
Re-enrolling in the programme
If you'd like to re-enrol in the programme, fill in the 'Re-enrol in the NCSP Programme' form here.
Who runs the screening programme?
The screening programme is run by the National Screening Unit within the Ministry of Health. We manage both the cervical screening and breast screening programmes for New Zealand women. You can find out more on the National Screening Unit website.
Whenever you receive health services, your rights are protected by the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.
During your smear tests and follow-up and when talking to health workers you have the right to:
- be treated with respect
- be treated fairly
- dignity and independence
- support and care that suits you
- be told things in a way you understand
- be told about your health
- make choices about your care and support
- have a support person or people with you
- decide if you want to be part of training, teaching or research
- make a complaint.
You can ask for more information about your rights when you visit your doctor or nurse. You can also read more about your rights at the website of the Health & Disability Commissioner.