About the review

Following the Ministerial Inquiry into the Under-reporting of Cervical Smear Abnormalities in the Gisborne Region in 2001 (the Gisborne Inquiry), the legislation governing the NCSP was amended.

The intention of the Health (National Cervical Screening Programme) Amendment Act 2004 was to enhance the operation and evaluation of the NCSP.

One measure introduced was regular reviews of the Programme: section 1120 of the Act states that, at least every three years, the Minister must establish an external review committee to review the operation of the NCSP and any evaluation activities that have been carried out, or are proposed. The focus of the review is the continuous quality improvement of the NCSP with a view to reducing the incidence of and mortality from cervical cancer.

A review was prepared in late 2014 and took place in the first half of 2015. The review committee was established by and is accountable to the Minister of Health. Committee members are Dr Jeffrey Tan (Chair), Ms Linda Thompson, and Ms Gail Ward.

Work of the review committee

Section 112P of the Health Act 1956 sets out the work of the review committee:

  1. Before beginning its review, the review committee must prepare a review plan.
  2. In preparing its review plan, the review committee must
    1. ensure that the plan
      1. applies the focus referred to in section 112O(2); and
      2. takes into account the need for timeliness in the completion of the review; and
    2. consult with interested parties about any significant issues that may warrant review, in relation to the operation of the NCSP or evaluation activities that have been, or are proposed to be, carried out; and
    3. following that consultation, determine
      1. which issues are to be reviewed; and
      2. the expected date of completion of the review; and
    4. provide the review plan to the Minister for comment, and fully take into account any comments made by the Minister before finalising that plan.
  3. After finalising the review plan, the review committee must conduct the review in accordance with that plan.
  4. When making any recommendations resulting from its review, the review committee must take into account
    1. the objectives of the NCSP; and
    2. the need for fiscal responsibility.
  5. The review committee may, subject to any written direction by the Minister, regulate its own procedure
Page last updated: 30 June 2015