Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Health): Statements
Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
I know why the Deputy makes that point but I certainly would not be in any way flippant in respect of this. The decision to suspend cancer screening was taken by clinicians on public health grounds. I do not have responsibility for McDonald's but I do have responsibility for the safety of people in our health service, of its staff and of the women and men of Ireland who use it. The decision is in line with the advice not just in the Republic of Ireland but in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and New Zealand.
I have yet to find another country that has turned back on its screening programme. I want to turn it back on but I want to do so in a safe way and I will be led by clinical advice. Within two weeks, we will have the non-Covid-19 care plan from the HSE, led by clinicians, which will determine when it is safe and how they intend to recommence screening.