June 2, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - Testing for the human papillomarivus (HPV) will be available to New Brunswickers for the first time within their home province, beginning this fall. The Saint John Regional Hospital, through its laboratory services, will be responsible for providing the testing.
"This represents an important step forward in terms of our provincial cancer strategy," said Health Minister Michael Murphy. "The repatriation of these crucial testing services will be of great benefit to New Brunswickers."
Until now, the Department of Health had been using out-of-province companies to carry out HPV testing. The funding used to engage these companies will now be kept within the province.
HPV has been associated with several types of cancer, including cervical cancer. HPV testing is considered an important component of an effective cancer screening strategy.
"The designation of this lab amounts to much more than merely a new label," Murphy said. "Preventative medicine is a major component of our provincial health plan, and this new HPV lab adds another crucial layer of preventative services for New Brunswickers."
As announced in September 2008, a cervical cancer prevention and screening program is being introduced in the province. An implementation committee is developing guidelines for the use of HPV testing
The Department of Health and Regional Health Authority B continue to work collaboratively to optimize both laboratory services and other health-care components for New Brunswickers.
More information about HPV, HPV testing and the HPV vaccine is online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.