The gynaecology society said on Wednesday they would address the health ministry over the decision by Gesy operator, the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), to offer the Pap smear test every two years instead annually as the practice has been so far.
Gynaecologists expressed concerns that this would mean that women told to take the test every two or three years, would not visit their doctors for regular routine tests and, as a result, other conditions or even cancer types such as breast and ovaries could go undetected until it was too late.
“Therefore, we will be missing cases and by extension losing lives,” board member of the gynaecology society Dinos Mavromoustakis told state broadcaster CyBC.
He said they would take the issue to the health ministry and present their arguments on the necessity of annual Pap smear tests.
But HIO seems to be sticking to its decision, arguing that based on standard practices abroad, the majority of national health schemes cover this examination between every three and five years.
“We deemed as proper to offer it every two years,” HIO deputy director Andreas Papaconstantinou said, adding that the issue will be reassessed in due time.
HIO announced that until a national prevention policy is shaped by the health ministry, Gesy will be covering Pap smear tests for each beneficiary every two years. In the case the gynaecologist deems a repetition of the test is necessary, they can order it but they need to justify that decision HIO said.