Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly says he is deeply frustrated following confirmation that the independent physical review of around 3,000 cervical smear slides has yet to begin.

Deputy Donnelly said, “I am deeply shocked that the independent review of these smear tests has not yet got underway, over a month after it was meant to be completed. Minister Harris needs to provide a clear explanation why this delay has occurred and what steps he is taking to get the review back on track. It is not good enough to announce timelines that cannot be met on this issue.

“The Government’s haphazard response to date is not acceptable. When the Taoiseach and Minister for Health announced the support package for those effected, we were assured that everything possible would be done to support these women. Now we hear that Dr.Scally is awaiting 2,000 files, that the international review has not even started, and that dozens of women are still awaiting their files.

“Since this scandal broke, decisive competent leadership has been required. We have not seen that to date. This constant slow release of information risks damaging trust in our screening programmes. Too many deadlines have been missed with too many women being left in limbo. We need answers, not excuses,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.