Medical News

NAGP and Irish Cancer Society welcome moves to accommodate women affected by smear test scandal

Following concerns from patients regarding the recent controversy surrounding smear testing, Dr Andrew Jordan has welcomed a move from Health Minister Simon Harris TD to provide funding to general practice for cervical smear re-testing for any patient who is worried and wants to have a repeat smear test for reassurance.

Commenting on this, Dr Jordan, Chairman of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) highlighted the  importance of making re-testing available for concerned patients.

Dr Jordan also reiterated the NAGP’s support for cervical screening and for the administration of HPV vaccines in the fight against cervical cancer and urged women to continue to believe in the cervical check system he said, “more than 250,000 women each year had smear tests and cervical cancer was down 7 per cent as a result”.

According to Dr Jordan, this issue has underscored serious problems with the process of outsourcing testing. He questioned: ‘’We would like to see a review of where smear tests go for testing we have a fully accredited, quality cytology screening system in Ireland, why is testing going to the States?”

Minister Harris also met with the Irish Cancer Society yesterday (1st May) to offer reassurances to the women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal and to those who may be worried about their smear results.

The Minister agreed to the Society’s request that a letter be sent to all women of screening age addressing any concerns they may have about CervicalCheck and highlighting the value of the service.
Averil Power, Chief Executive at the Irish Cancer Society, commented: “Vicky Phelan has repeatedly stressed she doesn’t want her experience to put women off going for smear tests. It is essential this message gets through to the women of Ireland and they are not deterred from availing of a test that could save their lives.
“Understandably, many women are confused and worried at present. It is essential the Government reassures them by writing to them, answering their questions and highlighting the value of the service. We welcome Minister Harris’ commitment today that this will be done.
“We also stressed to the Minister that everything possible must be done to help all the women affected by testing errors, and their families, on a one-one basis. The Independent Clinical Review process must be set up as soon as possible and carried out in a supportive, patient-centred way. We want to make sure these women get the right support, clinical, psychological or otherwise”, she concluded.

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