CervicalCheck delays forcing women to get private tests

31 March 2019

Labour Party Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD, has called on Minister Simon Harris to explain to women who have been waiting over 28 weeks for smear test results why women who are paying privately can get them in just over two weeks.

Deputy Kelly said:

“It has been revealed in today’s Sunday Business Post, that women who can afford to pay for a smear test to be done privately are getting their results back within three weeks, while those who are getting a test through CervicalCheck are waiting seven months. This is not right.

“For months the HSE have been telling us that there has been a massive backlog in testing because of lack of capacity in the labs.

“Waiting for any test result to come back can be anxiety-inducing but if you are a woman who knows she is at risk and is waiting over seven months for results, it can be extremely worrying. This delay in further diagnostics could potentially have further impact on a woman’s health. 

“In the current impasse with CervicalCheck, many doctors are recommending to women that they should just go private rather than wait the who knows how long for results with Cervical Check.

“So it is either wait for results or pay upwards of €120 to have the test privately done, which is not an option for so many women.

“Minister Harris needs to confirm now if other labs besides the Coombe and MedLab are analysing private smear tests from Irish patients, so we can see the scale of women who feel they have no other option but to use this system.

“This shows that there is extra capacity in labs and so despite HSE saying they are doing everything the can to deal with the delays this proves that those claims are false.”

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