Minister for Health Simon Harris; Quest Diagnostics
It emerged that approximately 800 women who had CervicalCheck tests carried out between October 1, 2018, and June 25, 2019, have not received their test results because of an IT issue at a Quest Diagnostics laboratory in Virginia in the US.
It followed one woman affected making inquiries about her own test results.
Most of the women affected were getting repeat tests for the human papillomavirus HPV – which can cause cervical cancer – because Quest had previously carried out HPV testing on the women’s initial smears beyond the 30-day limit.
RTÉ have reported that the HSE told the Department of Health on Wednesday that it became aware of the IT problem in June.
This morning, Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly told Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ’s Radio One:
“We need to understand why the HSE took so long to inform the department. We know last year, when CervicalCheck [scandal] broke, that actually the Department and the HSE had been going back and forth and it was in reference to preparing the minister for the fact that Vicky Phelan’s case was about to break and that that could lead on to knock-on implications as of course it did.
“We want to know why the department wasn’t informed. And, indeed, maybe they were informed but they were informed informally.”
“…Why wait until an hour after the Dáil goes into recess to let the information out publicly. Why, if it’s not a big deal, were the minister, or the HSE, a no-show on Morning Ireland this morning?
“If this is not a big problem then we need to hear from the political leadership and the administrative leadership to explain that.”
Mr O’Rourke told his listeners that his programme also asked both the minister and the HSE for a spokesperson but neither were available.
Listen back in full here