November 14, 2023
‘Any delays in cervical smear review must be dealt with’ – Dillon

Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has said any delays in the cervical smear review must be dealt with and communicated to the affected women.

The party’s health spokesperson was speaking after writing to both the Department of Health and the Public Health Agency in relation to the delays.

Linda Dillon said:

“The 17,500 women affected by the cervical smear review must be kept updated, including regarding any delays they are dealing with.

“I have asked the Department of Health for an urgent update on their plan for addressing any delays in the review and also how the current backlog of smear testing is progressing. 

“These latest issues are yet another example of how women’s health services across the north are not fit for purpose.

“HPV, the most modern and accurate method of testing for cervical cancer, must now be rolled out in every Trust across the north as a matter of urgency. The north is currently the only region in these islands which has not fully rolled out HPV testing. This is unacceptable. 

“Despite this, I welcome the Department of Health’s commitment that HPV testing will begin in December.

“We need the Assembly restored now and all parties working together to ensure this is delivered. We also need an Executive restored to deliver a women’s health strategy which begins to address health inequalities facing women today.” 

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