Tuesday, 11 June 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Leo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
I am advised that the Minister, Deputy Harris, will be away on Thursday, but is happy to come to the House next week to discuss the Scally report directly and other matters related to health. We are making progress on the smear test backlog. A contract has been signed with Quest Diagnostics, which is one of the laboratories, to do the work. In the meantime, MedLab, which no longer does smear tests for Ireland, is catching up on its backlog.
In one part of the country, women are now getting results in six or seven weeks, which is a significant improvement; in the other part of the country there is still a significant backlog but it has gone from 80,000-odd down to 60,000-odd and is now finally going in the right direction. I have asked the Attorney General and the Minister for Health to prioritise the tribunal legislation above all other health legislation. We anticipate having the tribunal legislation in the House this session, with the patient safety Bill in the next session, after the recess.