People who live in remote areas

Find information and resources on how to engage patients who live in remote areas.


For patients

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


    People who live in remote areas of Australia generally have poorer health and wellbeing than those in urban areas.

    Remote and very remote areas also have higher rates of cervical cancer. Compared to regional and urban areas, cervical participations rates in these remote areas are lower. The barriers to participation faced in remote areas relate to issues of:

    • access to health services
    • socio-economic disparities
    • privacy.


    There are general barriers that people face in participating in cervical screening. People from remote areas can face extra barriers relating to:

    • less access to health services compared to major cities (e.g. fewer GPs, female GPs, GPs who bulk-bill, after-hours services, as well as, lack of GP availability  and greater waiting times for appointments)
    • geographical remoteness (greater distance to services)
    • socio-economic disparities (i.e. lower education and income)
    • lack of privacy
    • discomfort with seeing a healthcare provider the patient may know well and have a close relationship with
    • out-of-pocket costs for health services.

    Ways to engage

    • Mobile and outreach services are effective in engaging people from remote areas in cervical screening
    • Offer the choice of either self-collection or clinician-collection screening options
    • Explain the pros and cons of each option, including follow-up requirements if HPV is detected on a self-collected sample
    • Consider offering home-based self-collection (e.g. via a telehealth consultation) where appropriate
    • Consider flexible appointments, group transportation and transportation assistance
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