Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Questions (165)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

165. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the status of the cases of cervical cancer that were not audited; the number of these cases in which the woman had had a smear test; the number of persons that have not been contacted; the reason for same; if all of the women have been contacted; and his views on their situation [21707/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has advised that they will conclude the matching process with the National Cancer Registry in the next week in relation to women who were not part of the original CervicalCheck audit.   The Deputy will appreciate that I am not in a position to provide any further information in relation to the number of women involved, until such time as this data matching process is completed and fully validated.  

The Deputy will be aware that an International Clinical Expert Review Panel, led by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists with expert input from the British Association of Colposcopists & Cervical Pathologists, is being established. This independent review panel will consider all cases of invasive cervical cancer in Ireland since the inception of the CervicalCheck screening programme and will identify those cases who were screened by the programme.  The process will examine the screening history of women who were screened by CervicalCheck and will identify those who had a previous smear(s) prior to their diagnosis.  For these women the expert panel will review their screening, cytological and clinical histories and undertake a re-examination of their cytology tests.  Where the review opinion of the cytology result(s) differs to the original result provided by CervicalCheck, the review panel will endeavour to determine any failures to prevent cancer or  to intervene at an earlier stage and will prepare individual reports for those affected, establishing the facts and the implications where these have been determined.

I should also mention that a Working Group, including representatives from the Department and the HSE, will be established to work with the review panel in order to ensure that any issues are resolved and progressed.

Finally, I can assure the Deputy that the additional women who have cervical cancer and also had cytology with the CervicalCheck programme will be prioritised.