Amid Nationwide Doctor Shortage, Country Turns to DIY Pap Smears

Canada is asking people to do their own pap smears at home as the country copes with a nationwide doctor shortage.

This week, British Columbia launched Canada’s first “cervix self-screening program” and encouraged citizens to order pap smear test kits to test for cervical cancer at home.

Starting January 29, women or “individuals with a cervix” ages 25 to 69 can order a “quick, easy and highly accurate test kit” to test for cervical cancer at home, the province’s health ministry said in a news release on Tuesday.

“It’s not every day that a province can set an achievable goal of eliminating a deadly cancer, but today’s launch of the first at-home self-screening program means ending deadly cervical cancer in British Columbia is a now a very real possibility,” Premier David Eby said.

The announcement comes as Canada’s health care system suffers from a severe doctor shortage, especially in family medicine. More than six million Canadians do not have a family doctor — in some provinces as many as one in three people, surveys show. (Read more from “Amid Nationwide Doctor Shortage, Country Turns to DIY Pap Smears” HERE)

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