People who experience socio-economic disadvantage

Find information and resources on how to engage patients socio-economically disadvantaged patients in cervical screening.


You can provide these resources to patients to help them before, during and post screening. See the full resource library.

    Before screening appointment

    During screening appointment

    Post screening appointment

    National Cervical Screening Program participation data from 2018–2020 showed participation was lowest for people living in areas with highest disadvantage, at 49.7%..


    There are general barriers that people face in participating in cervical screening. People experience socio-economic disadvantage can face extra barriers relating to:

    • cost: out-of-pocket expenses associated with going to the GP unless bulk-billing is available, and pathology costs if laboratories charge higher than the MBS fee
    • low education levels
    • literacy barriers
    • competing priorities, such as employment, access to food etc.

    Ways to engage



    Reduce out-of- pocket costs

    Reduce or eliminate fees for people with a healthcare card.

    Service flexibility

    Offer screening opportunistically.

    Appropriate communication

    Provide resources explaining the importance of cervical screening that have been written in plain English.

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