Women affected by CervicalCheck crisis wait six months for smear slides

Taoiseach says delay should be no more than a ‘couple of weeks’, not months

A cervical cancer cell.  Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said contracts two laboratories had provided for the HSE to retrieve smear test slide results within three days.

A cervical cancer cell. Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said contracts two laboratories had provided for the HSE to retrieve smear test slide results within three days.

 

Women caught up in the CervicalCheck scandal have not received slides of their smear tests despite having requested them six months ago, the Dáil has heard.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy expressed shock that the 221 women affected by the controversy were still waiting and it was “causing unnecessary trouble to people who are under terrific stress”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar agreed and said it might take a couple of weeks but should not take that long.

Ms Murphy said the husband of one of the 221 women whose smear tests had been misread, had contacted her and told her that “the majority of women who requested their slides have not got them six months after they requested them”.

The Kildare North TD said the contracts that the two laboratories – MedLab Pathology and Quest Diagnostics – had provided for the Health Service Executive to retrieve results within three days “so there is no question about ownership of these slides”.

She said “there must be a commitment today that there will not be further delay in delivering this basic information to these women. I am shocked we are still talking about this and that the goalposts have changed on the issue to the point that it is causing unnecessary trouble to people who are under terrific stress.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he could understand how it might take a couple of weeks to retrieve slides.

“I don’t see why it should take a couple of months. I will ask my people to follow up on the matter to see the reason for the delay.”

He said he totally agreed with Ms Murphy. “It should not take that long.”