Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (208)

John Curran


208. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health if screening for pregnant women to include a screening for the diagnosis of cytomegalovirus will be extended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40601/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE Maternity and Infant Care Scheme offer blood tests in pregnancy to screen for a number of infectious diseases. These include:

- Immunity to rubella (German Measles)

- Immunity to varicella zoster (chickenpox)

- Syphilis

- Hepatitis B

- Hepatitis C


As per recommendation 5, contained within the Scally Review (2018), a National Screening Advisory Committee will be established and become operational before the end of 2019. This is to strengthen the governance, transparency and oversight of any proposed new programmes or changes to existing programmes.

Similar to the UK National Screening Committee, the Committee’s role will be to undertake an independent assessment of the evidence for screening for a particular condition, or revisions to existing programmes against internationally accepted criteria and make recommendations accordingly.

Any future potential changes to screening pregnant women for infectious disease can be submitted by the HSE to be considered as part of the Committee's future work programme.