Labs should not be calling for suspension of CervicalCheck programme

Alan Kelly TD
01 April 2019

Labour Party Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD, has condemned the labs carrying out analysis of smear tests for leaking their wish to suspend the CervicalCheck screening programme days before they are due to meet with the HSE.

Deputy Kelly said:

“We know through media reports that the CervicalCheck is coming under pressure to suspend the screening programme for up to two months to attempt to clear the backlog in the system by the labs who carry out the smear tests.

“When the HSE meet the labs this week, they must not bow to pressure to suspend the programme. The main priority of the HSE at crunch meetings this week should be to find out why the labs are facilitating the quick turnaround time of private tests.

“We need to be able to trust our screening programmes, suspending the programme for a prolonged period of time will undoubtedly erode confidence on whether the programme and the labs that carry out the analysis are up to scratch.

“It is clear that the labs leaked what they want to discuss with the HSE in advance. This is going to cause more worry and confusion.

“What is needed now is clear communication from the HSE and CervicalCheck to remove any additional worries women may have. We can’t have delayed communication with women as we have seen in the past.

“Not only are these delays impacting on women’s mental health, there are many practical concerns. Many women who require other medical procedures for example a transplant need to have an up to date smear test carried out by CervicalCheck. The delays in getting results can have a knock on effect on these procedures being carried out.”

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