People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has labelled the CervicalCheck retesting system as “majorly flawed” and has backed up calls made in Leinster House today for the Health Minister Simon Harris to appear before the Dáil and answer questions about the current status of the system.
While welcoming the news that Pembro would be made available for women that need it Bríd Smith said that this should not mask the ongoing scandal and the Ministers handling of it.
It was reported earlier today that some smear retests were returning invalid because of the inability of the health system to deal with the numbers of women seeking retests. Tests were returning as invalid due to the delays.
Bríd Smith said: “This is truly a debacle and shows flaws not only in the cervical retest system but deep flaws in the reliance on private labs under the continued contracting out of cervical check itself.”
The TD noted that the failure of Minister Harris to reveal the retest failures was part of a pattern from the Minister and the HSE on CervicalCheck.
“They have consistently failed to answer simple questions or be transparent. Despite repeated questions, they will not detail the numbers of missed or false negative test from each of the labs. They have this information but won’t release it.”
The TD said she believed this failure stems from an attempt to defend the contracting out the service to private US-based labs.
“We believe the vast majority of mistakenly read smears come from the private labs and these figures would make clear that the state failed women when it decided to contract out the service.
“Simon Harris needs to take responsibility for the promises he made and he also needs to come into the Dáil and answer questions on this most serious issue.”