22 May 2018, 12.05

Examination of medical screening programmes will be the focus of the Committee on Health on Wednesday 23 May 2018.

Appearing before the Committee are:

Irene Regan, President, Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine    
Terry Casey, General Secretary, Medical Laboratory Scientists Association    
Representatives from National Breast Screening Programme  

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Committee Chair, Dr. Michael Harty TD said: “Cancer screening programmes have saved lives and area very important part of our Health Service. However, the continuing controversy and ongoing revelations in relation to the CervicalCheck programme has damaged public confidence in the screening process. The National Cancer Screening Service provides three screening services – CervicalCheck, BreastCheck and Bowel Screen. It is important that public confidence is restored, not only in CervicalCheck but in all screening programmes. However, to do that it is important that medical screening programmes are thoroughly examined to ensure that they operate to the best international standards. At our meeting on Wednesday, we will meet with representatives from the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine, the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association to get their perspectives on the CervicalCheck issue, in particular surrounding the technical aspects of reading smears, their sensitivity and the quality assurance in the programme. We will engage with BreastCheck to ensure that communication and quality assurance in this screening programme are of the highest possible standard and that errors identified in CervicalCheck are not replicated.

The meeting will take place at 9am in Committee Room 3, Leinster House.

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

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