Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (246)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

246. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if the HSE has signed up to use a laboratory (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44346/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Screening saves lives. CervicalCheck has been successful in reducing cervical cancer rates in Ireland and, as Dr Scally stated in his report on the issues relating to CervicalCheck, which was published on the website of my Department on 12 September, continuation of the screening service in the coming months is of crucial importance. Dr Scally's report provided welcome reassurance about the quality management processes in the laboratories currently contracted by CervicalCheck, and confirmed that he found no reason why the existing contracts for laboratory services should not continue until the new HPV regime is introduced.

The HSE has now advised that Heads of Agreement have been signed with the laboratories contracted by CervicalCheck, to extend their contracts pending the introduction of HPV testing as the primary screening test. This allows for the continuation of the service without interruption.

The switch to HPV testing as the primary screening mechanism for the CervicalCheck programme will involve a reconfiguration of the laboratory work involved, and will be subject to a tendering process for any work carried out outside the public sector.