Less Than 10% Of Women Receive Repeat Smear Results Two Months On

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Just seven per cent of women who had a repeat smear test from a laboratory used by CervicalCheck have received their results.

The lab in question is blaming a technology system, which it says took longer than expected to set up.

Back in January, nearly 4,500 women were invited to have a repeat smear test by CervicalCheck.

It followed an issue with some tests being carried out beyond 30 days of the smear being taken.

Although CervicalCheck say tests done outside the recommended timeframe are likely to be effective, it invited women for a repeat test to reassure them.

Since the start of February, just over 2,500 repeat smear test samples have been sent to the Quest Diagnostics lab in the US.

But the HSE has confirmed that only 200 women have received their results so far. It says the setting up of an IT system to deal with the the tests took longer than expected.

Quest says it’s confident that the rest of the women will get their results in the next two weeks.

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

Deputy 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.

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

“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.”