Thursday, 26 September 2019

Questions (128)

James Browne


128. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the current wait time for women awaiting smear test results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39133/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Significant progress has been made in clearing the backlog of smear tests and reducing turnaround times. Medlab Pathology, which reported a backlog of 55,000 smear tests in May 2019, completed the processing of these tests in August this year, having ceased accepting new tests from 1 May. This marks a welcome milestone for the programme. All smear tests are now being read at two laboratories, the Coombe and Quest Diagnostics. As of 30 August, the HSE reported that average turnaround times for the Coombe and Quest were 4 weeks and 5 weeks respectively, and 96% of tests were being resulted within 7 weeks.

As the turnaround times for smear test results may fluctuate somewhat from week-to-week, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy with the most up-to-date figures available.