Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly TD has called on the Government to communicate the benefits of cancer screening programmes.

Deputy Donnelly said, “I am all too aware that confidence in our screening services has been rocked by the revelations surrounding CervicalCheck. Despite this, the fact remains that cancer screening saves lives.

“80% of eligible women have attended for smear tests under CervicalCheck over the last decade. This has led to a progressive decrease in incidence of cervical cancer which has saved many lives. Any downturn this controversy causes must be addressed as a priority.

“The Government’s response to date has not been good enough. In particular, the Taoiseach has been noticeable by his absence throughout. During Storm Ophelia, there was constant coverage of him standing with members of the Defence Forces and the Gardaí, we have yet to see him doing the same with clinicians or the HSE.

“We need to get to the bottom of the current controversy and ensure that there is accountability. Fianna Fáil will not be found lacking in this regard. However it is critical that the message that screening, while imperfect, saves lives,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.