Shadow Minister for Women Sophie Cotsis is encouraging women – especially those in Western Sydney – to undergo cervical cancer screening (Pap test) as national data shows the region has some of the lowest rates in the State at 51.5 per cent. Ms Cotsis pointed to low screening rates in Campbelltown (44.2 per cent); Blacktown (46.1); Holroyd (47.1); Penrith (48.1); Auburn (48.1); Liverpool (48.3); Camden (48.7); Burwood (48.9); Strathfield (49.4) and Parramatta (50.4).

In contrast, she pointed to Mosman where 72 per cent of women had undertaken the screening. In Woollahra, it was 71.7 per cent and Waverley, it was 69.8 per cent. The cervical cancer screening program is expected to cut mortality rates by at least 20 percent as it is designed to detect Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The virus is responsible for 99 percent of the abnormal cells which cause cervical cancers which is more advanced than the current Pap test. However Ms Cotsis says it is concerning that women across Sydney’s west have the lowest rates of screening- with more than half failing to get a Pap test between June 2015 and June 2017. Ms Cotsis says there are many organisations across Sydney’s West which cater for multicultural women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with disability- and some also offer interpreter services.