211,000 women to be screened for cervical cancer by 2030 – Dr Anthony

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony

In keeping with the commitments made in Budget 2024, the Health Ministry on Friday inked several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with various partners to provide targeted members of the population with vouchers for cervical cancer and eye tests.

This Government-led initiative is aimed at enhancing access to healthcare for citizens.
Under the agreement, two programmes — the National Eye Screening Programme and the HPV Screening Programme — will be launched next week.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony has said that approximately 211,000 women between the ages of 21 and 65 will be screened for cervical cancer by 2030. Government would provide each woman with a voucher worth $8,000.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony and other officials with stakeholders at the MOU signing on Friday

At the signing of the MoUs, Dr Anthony noted that the Ministry has partnered with several private agencies to administer the HPV tests, which include diagnosis and treatment plans aimed to cover 70 per cent of the female population.

The partner institutions for HPV screening include Dr Balwant Singh Hospital, Eureka Labs, and Woodlands Hospital. The minister highlighted this collaboration as a new venture forming part of the Government’s effort to partner with the private sector.

“This is the first time that we would have ever worked with such a large private sector group. And while we don’t envisage any issues, we will have to work on building this relationship…we will convene meetings at different points so that we can ask you to come, and if there is any difficulty…we will be able to pick these things up,” he explained.

Under the Eye Testing and Spectacles Programme, the Government would offer eye care vouchers valued at $3,000 to people of all ages. For those requiring spectacles, an additional $15,000 voucher would be provided.

The participating providers include Eye Wear Optical, Miracle Optical, Bhagwans and Associates, Optique Vision Care, Optical World, Courts Optical, and Optiek Ninon.
The dates when the vouchers would be distributed would be announced soon.