60% of women yet to take pap test, says deputy minister

Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali says the government’s target is for at least 40% of women to take the pap test regularly.

KUALA LUMPUR: Up to 60% of women in the country have not undergone the pap test in the last three years despite it costing only RM1 in government clinics and hospitals.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said only 25% took the test regularly.

“Some say it is uncomfortable and shameful and they are not concerned about the test,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

To an additional question from June Leow Hsiad Hui (PH-Hulu Selangor), he said the government’s target was for at least 40% of women to take the test regularly.

Holding up a pap smear kit, Noor Azmi said women who are shy to seek professional aid could now conduct the test themselves.

He said the kit, which is used in Australia, could encourage more women to take the test for cervical cancer.

Noor Azmi said RM20 million had been allocated for free mammogram screenings, human papillomavirus vaccination and pap smears in government clinics and hospitals.