Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (130)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

130. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health the reason his Department and HSE officials are refusing to release information that would detail the number of false negative tests in the cervical screening programme by each laboratory; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5368/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I want to be clear that neither my Department nor the HSE is refusing to release the information requested. As has previously been advised to the Deputy, the HSE has advised that analysis is required in order to make the requested data available. The requirement for analysis reflects the complexities involved.

For example, some women may have had multiple smears, not necessarily read in the same lab; slides may have changed by one grade or multiple grades which is a complexity that would not be shown by a simple breakdown across labs; labs dealt with different regional populations; in the early years of the programme, it was dealing with an unscreened population which is a further complexity. Following significant efforts on the part of the HSE, a person with appropriate expertise was identified in late 2018 to carry out this analysis, and this work is ongoing. The HSE has advised it expects this work to be completed within the coming weeks.