Story: Women’s health

Gisborne cervical smear inquiry

Gisborne cervical smear inquiry

In 2000 an inquiry into cervical screening in the Gisborne area was held after it was discovered that a local laboratory had failed to pick up hundreds of abnormal smears. Dr Michael Botrill, who ‘read’ the smears and owned the laboratory, is shown here giving evidence at the inquiry. His laboratory found 0.53 high grade abnormalities compared with a national average of 1%. Once Dr Botrill retired, the rate of high grade abnormalities found jumped to 1.71%. In his evidence, Dr Botrill accepted that he had misread smears.

Using this item

New Zealand Herald
Reference: 1304NZHBOTTRILL9.JPG
Photograph by Nicola Topping

Permission of the New Zealand Herald must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Women’s health - Health activism and controversies', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 December 2021)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011