Reports of €35 charge for free smear tests if test carried out in Irish labs - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today expressed fury at reports from women in the Louth area who have been told that the free smear tests promised by Simon Harris in the wake of the Cervical Check scandal will cost up to €85 if women elect to have their smear tests analysed in this State, rather than outsourced to American labs.
Deputy Munster said:
“I received calls today from women in my constituency who were outraged to learn from their GPs this week that they would have to pay €85 for a repeat smear test, despite claims made by Ministers Simon Harris and Regina Doherty that free smear tests would be available for all women who had concerns about the Cervical Check scandal and wished to take an additional test.
“I am told that a letter was sent by Minister Harris to all GPs, advising that the “free” repeat smear tests are only to be given free of charge if the lab work is sent to America for testing.
“In cases where women choose for their lab work to be carried out in this state, they have been asked to pay €50 for a GP visit and €35 for the smear test.
“For reasons that must be obvious even to the government since Vicky Phelan went public with her story, many women in Ireland have lost confidence in the outsourcing of lab tests to the United States, and would prefer that their tests be carried out at home.
“It is disingenuous of Simon Harris to announce that these repeat tests are free, when in fact they are not.
“I have written to Minister Harris seeking confirmation that this letter was sent, and I asked to see a copy of the letter.
“It is clear that despite all the hurt, damage, and deaths that this scandal has caused, that the government has learned absolutely nothing.
“After all that’s happened the government should arrange to have free smear tests carried out and tested in Ireland. It’s the least they could do."