Cervical screening in Hungary: Why does the "English model" work but the "Hungarian model" does not?

A. Kovács, L. Döbrossy, A. Budai, I. Boncz, Á Cornides

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Citations (Scopus)


A comparison has been made between the English practice and the "Hungarian model" of cervical screening. In England, until 1986, extensive opportunistic screening was the practice, but - as it had no effect on cervical cancer mortality - afterwards, the screening policy was changed to be strictly in line with international recommendations. On the other hand, in Hungary, the "old practice" has been petrified: gynaecologists are the "gatekeepers", a "gynaecological examination completed with smear-taking for cytology" makes up the screening strategy. Although in the frame of a National Public Health Programme all the prerequisites for nationwide organised screening have been provided, and an up-to-date screening strategy declared, 20-times as many smears are taken and analysed outside as inside the programme, and the efforts have had no impact on cervical cancer mortality. This is because "old habits die hard". There is an urgent need to reconsider the screening strategy, and to reorganise the cervical screening practice in Hungary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-9
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Gynaecological Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 12 2008


  • Impact on mortality from cervical cancer
  • Opportunistic and organised screening for cervical cancer
  • Role of gynaecologists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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