Responding to the publication of Professor Brian MacCraith’s report into the CervicalCheck scandal, Aontú deputy leader Cllr. Anne McCloskey has sharply criticised the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health for their approach to women’s smear tests.

Speaking today, Cllr McCloskey stated:

“The debacle surrounding the CervicalCheck tests has been confirmed to be worse than had been previously feared. Professor MacCraith’s review found that more than 4,000 women have not been told of the results of their smear tests.

“The government have shamefully tried to keep their heads down and avoid accountability for what is now a scandal that has lasted for more than a year. The HSE and the Department of Health have displayed gross incompetence in their oversight of the CervicalCheck programme.

“The fact that smear samples were sent to an American laboratory without adequate operational due diligence and risk assessment speaks volumes about the nature of the health system presided over by Minister Harris and of the attitude of the state towards patients and citizens.

“It has also emerged that 400 women whose smear test results were delayed for months have received letters with ‘inaccuracies’ about their results this week. We know that there are women who are HPV positive, but have been told by the HSE months after they had a repeat CervicalCheck test that in fact they had tested negative. The gravity of this situation for these women is unimaginable.

“Aontú is determined to stop the outsourcing of healthcare from Ireland. Depending on overseas profit-motivated companies for healthcare for people in Ireland is bound to lead to disaster-after-disaster. It is not a sustainable model for healthcare. The Irish people are entitled to fully functioning and appropriately staffed public health services provided in this country. We should accept nothing less.”