180,000 Pap Tests Are Waiting For Lack of Staff To Analyze Them

The lack of technical personnel in to analyze cytologies CCSS, also known as Pap tests, caused the delay of 180,000 tests still to no avail, that would help early detection of cervical cancer.

That is because the National Center for Cytology (CNC), located in the Hospital Mexico, offers only with 30 cytotechnologists, and they receive 4,000 Pap tests per day from around the country, although there is only capacity to 1,200 daily results.

The reality of these tests in the CCSS, was denounced by the National Union of Employees of the Fund (undeca).

The delay in the results is described by oncologists as a setback in the prevention and early detection of cancer of the cervix, which is caused most often by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Danilo Medina, ginecóloco oncologist at Hospital Calderón Guardia, said that “when there is a delay in results in that category (180,000), there is a violation of the right to health”.

He added that the figure is very high if we consider that there are strategies to prevent cervical cancer approved through executive decree.

As revealed UNDECA, there are cytologies that were performed 2 years ago and still no result is known.

Currently, Costa Rica has an incidence of cervical cancer of 26 cases per 100,000 women, while the mortality is 6 per 100,000 females.

Zeirith Rojas, medical manager of the CCSS, recognized the institutional weakness shown from five years ago, when aggravated, the dam of cytologies.

Rodrigo Alvarez, a pathologist and director of the CNC explained that in 1998, when he started working, in the center there were 42 cytotechnologists, and kept apace analysis of Pap tests.

He said that since then they have lost 12 technicians for reasons such as retirement or death.

Added to that, “Undeca negotiated years ago, cytotechnologists have prophylactic holiday, which reduces the number of cytologies tests per day, month and year.”

Alvarez said that due to lack of personnel and have a holiday (ordinary or detoxification), and disability, the center had to stop making analysis of 30,000 Pap tests a year.

“For that rason, there are 180,000 overdue tests,” he said.

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