Thursday, 12 May 2022
Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation
Duncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
I wish to raise another important issue related to women's health, namely CervicalCheck and the Scally report recommendation that a national cervical screening laboratory would be fully up and running by September of this year. The Tánaiste will understand the utter outrage and disgust of the women of Ireland and activists on CervicalCheck when the Minister could not give any update on when this national laboratory will be set up and operational. Furthermore, not one sample is currently being tested in Ireland at this time, despite the fact that the Coombe Women and Infant's University Hospital returned to full operational capacity in December 2021 following the cyberattack. While we do not have exact figures on delayed diagnoses of cancer, at a conservative estimate cancer diagnoses dropped by between 10% and 14% in 2020 and in 2021 only six in ten patients were referred, as against the HSE's own service plan target of 95%. I ask the Tánaiste to provide an update on when the laboratory will be up and running.