MacSharry calls for clarity on UK lab use by Cervical Check
Fresh questions about the subcontracting of UK laboratories by the HSE’s Cervical Check programme must be answered.
That’s according to Sligo Leitrim Deputy Marc MacSharry who said it had emerged that when a laboratory is under pressure with smear testing it avails of third party testing facilities to prevent a backlog with a sister company in the UK.
This was confirmed by Medlab, Sandyford, Dublin yesterday.
“The Minister needs to clarify how exactly this works and whether there is a different criteria applied to tests carried out in the UK or whether they are all treated the same and signed off by Irish pathologists here,” said Deputy MacSharry.
“In addition, the Minister must explain wheth- er he knew about this practice and whether he is satisfied that this happens on a regular basis and whether GPs are informed whether the tests have taken place.
“Are we outsourcing the testing of smears, transcribing the results and then looking to an Irish pathologist to sign off on the test results or are they being signed off by UK pathologists?
“It is important that all of the background regarding how and when tests are sent overseas to the UK is made known so that women can have full confidence in the Cervical Check programme,” he said.
“It’s crucial from here on out that women continue to seek the testing services of Cervical Check and HPV Vaccination,” he added.