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New cervical cancer test funded in budget

New cervical cancer test funded in budget
Photo: New cervical cancer test funded in budget
This year's federal budget will include funding for a new cervical cancer test, a national cancer screening register and more money for dental health.

Funding for a new cervical cancer test will form part of this year's federal budget.

Health Minister Sussan Ley says the new test, which works by detecting an HPV infection, will replace the existing two yearly pap smear and instead be required once every five years.

It will be available to women aged 25 to 74 from May 2017, on the Medicare benefits schedule.

Ms Ley also confirmed on Sunday the federal government would help fund a new national cancer screening register.

"Currently there are eight separate state and territory cervical screening registers and an outdated, paper-based, bowel screening register, which has created a fragmented system," she said.
Both measures are part of more than $600 million worth of new cancer measures in the federal budget.

Tuesday's budget will also include $200 million for dental health care.

The coalition would add the area to its reform agenda for the next financial year, with the extra funding for state and territory services, she said. The money will form part of a new 12-month partnership, as well as continuing access to the commonwealth child dental benefit scheme.

"Real progress has been made in recent years towards improving access to dental services and the Abbott Government is determined to ensure Australia continues to improve as a nation," Ms Ley said.

But Labor has labelled the announcement a "cruel hoax".

Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King claimed the government cut $200 million in 2014/15 from a scheme to assist adults with very poor dental heath and $390 million in total.

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