Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says the Health Minister has serious questions to answer over the delay in the CervicalCheck review.

It emerged yesterday that the independent review of around 3,000 cervical smear slides has still not begun.

Deputy Smyth commented, “This independent review was meant to be completed last month, and now we’re learning that it hasn’t even begun.  The examination was announced in April, yet two months later not one smear test has been reviewed.  This is completely unacceptable.

“Minister Harris and the Taoiseach set the deadline for this review – they now need to explain why, not only has the deadline been missed, but also why the review itself has not even begun.  It was deeply unfair and disingenuous of the Minister and the Taoiseach to try and quell the public anger by announcing deadlines, without following through to make sure that progress was being made.

“The news that Dr. Scally, the man tasked with heading up the review, is awaiting 2,000 files, that the international review has not even started, and that dozens of women are still awaiting their files, is appalling.

“Far from instilling trust and confidence, the government’s handling of this controversy is damaging the faith that people, particularly women, had in the screening programme.  This is a deeply worrying time for the women affected and I am urging the Health Minister and the Taoiseach to act to allocate all the necessary resources to Dr. Scally to ensure that this review can be carried out and completed without delay”.