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Minister must source additional capacity to conduct repeat smear tests as 2,300 women still waiting - Louise O'Reilly TD

27 March, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said that the Minister for Health needs to source additional capacity to conduct these tests by resourcing labs here.

This comes following the news that 2,300 women are still waiting on repeat smear test results.

Speaking this afternoon Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The fallout from the CervicalCheck scandal was significant and it’s implications have been ongoing for many months now.

“The right decision was made in offering repeat smear tests to all women, however, the Minister for Health should have insured that the capacity was there to deliver on this offer.

“In that time there has been a litany of blunders and mistakes made by the Minister for Health, manifested in his inability ensure that the labs conducting the tests had the capacity and ability to deliver the results to women on time.

“As a result, women are living with these consequences since.

“Only today it is being reported that just 7% of re-submitted smear tests have been rechecked.

“That leaves around 2,370 women still waiting on repeat test results, despite being promised priority testing and results within four to six weeks.

“If the US laboratory in question, Quest Laboratory, cannot deliver these results in time then the Minister needs to resource labs in Ireland, so they can carry out the testing.

“Nevertheless, we cannot let political mistakes further damage the cervical screening service and I would implore any woman out there who has symptoms and concerns or has a scheduled smear test upcoming to avail of the screening programme as it does save lives."

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