How to get a Pap test result and how to interpret the results?
That’s the question at the heart of a new CBC/Radio-Canada story about the process that takes place during Pap tests.
The story focuses on the Montreal clinic where doctors and nurses are supposed to give Pap tests to their patients.
It’s one of several provincial facilities that are being investigated by the province’s health minister for allowing doctors and nurse practitioners to give tests that can’t be interpreted by an accredited medical practitioner.
The investigation also includes a request for information from the Quebec provincial health department, which regulates the province-wide Pap test program.CBC/Radio Canada has not been able to verify the authenticity of the CBC report.
It was published on Tuesday.CBC said it’s aware of the story and will be reporting back on it as soon as possible.
The report says that after the Pap test is given, a nurse practitioner and a doctor are supposed (in order of appearance) to give the results.
It’s not clear from the report whether the nurses and doctors actually do that.
“The nurse practitioner or doctor does not have to explain what happened, but they can tell you that the nurse practitioner was asked to read the Pap, and they didn’t do that,” said Marcia Gagnon, a health scientist with the Royal Society for Public Health.
“They didn’t explain how they interpret it, and that was the problem.”CBC says the nurse-practitioner relationship is a vital one for patients and their doctors.
“When you have an expert in your office, you want that person who is able to be there, who is capable of communicating with that person,” said Gagnons’ co-author, Dr. Marcia Leclair.
“And that person is really important for the health of the patient.”CBC is asking the public to contact the provincial health minister and ask her to conduct an investigation into whether the Pap testing practices at some Quebec clinics are in compliance with health standards.
The CBC/RCMP report, “Quebec’s New Health Model: An Assessment of the Health of its Pap Testing Program,” says the provincial government has made it a priority to increase access to Pap tests for patients.