Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has called on the Minister for Health and the HSE to ensure that essential cancer screening services are prioritised once the Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Figures published today have revealed that no mammograms were carried out in the month of April, while there was a 96% decrease in the number of samples sent to CervicalCheck labs in that time.

“These screening programmes save lives and must not fall by the wayside during this pandemic,” Deputy Crowe said.
“COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our health system and has seen new restrictions imposed on certain services. I understand these measures have been brought in to protect patients, but the figures relating to cancer screening services are very worrying.

“If this situation was to be repeated this month, we will end up with a massive backlog in the system and we could see potential early diagnoses delayed. This could have serious implications for patients.

“I am calling on the HSE and on Minister Simon Harris to ensure that a rigorous catch up programme for Breast Check, CervicalCheck and other similar screening services is implemented as soon as restrictions are eased.

“These screening programmes are essential in the battle against cancer. Here in Clare, we are so proud of the work of cervical cancer campaigner Laura Brennan and her family in raising awareness of the importance of these screening programmes. It is vital that these programmes can get back up and running as soon as possible”, concluded Deputy Crowe.