Background: A national cervical screening programme is being established in Ireland and there is little information on the level of resources required.
Aims: To obtain information on attitudes of Irish general practitioners (GPs) and on the resources needed by them in relation to participation in the programme.
Methods: An anonymous postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 600 GPs, approximately 25% of the total population of GPs in Ireland.
Results: A response rate of 87.5% was obtained. The majority (88%) would participate in a national programme. Those who would not were more likely to be in single-handed practice, aged over 44 years, have no ancillary staff, no computer and be in rural practice. GPs were in favour of a special fee for smear taking, a training programme and management guidelines on the test report. They did not want bonus payments for achieving targets or the report to be sent to the client as well as the doctor.
Conclusion: GPs will support a national cervical screening programme but a number of organisational issues must be discussed with them to ensure a successful programme.