Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Niamh Smyth, has expressed concern for the almost 6,000 women to be called for a repeat smear test, following confirmation from the HSE that the quality and efficacy of some samples have become invalid as a result of the backlog in testing.
Deputy Smyth explained, “Last year Minister Harris took the decision to offer repeat tests to women who had genuine concerns following the CervicalCheck controversy. This resulted in unprecedented demand on the CervicalCheck system with an increase of 84,000 tests, bringing the total number of tests in 2018 to almost 350,000.
“While I believe it was absolutely right to offer repeat smears to any woman who had concerns, the very least the Minister could have done was make sure that the necessary resources were in place to deal with the understandable surge in tests. I have been contacted by constituents across Cavan and Monaghan who are still waiting for results from smears that were taken over five months ago.
“We have learned that yet again the HSE knew of the reduced efficacy of some samples back in November but they withheld that information. The only advice the Taoiseach could give in Dáil Éireann was that women who require repeat smear tests will be contacted. If the HSE knew of this in November, why have the affected women still not been contacted?
“Minister Harris must come before the Dáil and answer these questions and more. We are calling on him to publish all verbal and written advice he received on this matter. Confidence in our health system is being eroded at lightning speed; the Minister must make a comprehensive statement to the Dáil immediately”, concluded Deputy Smyth.