October 9, 2023
Women must be supported as thousands of smear tests set to be re-checked – Dillon

Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has said women affected by the Southern Trust’s review of cervical cancer screening must be fully supported.

Responding to the Royal College of Pathology’s report into the Southern Trust’s review of cervical cancer screening, the party’s health spokesperson said:

“It is deeply concerning to learn that around 17,500 women are to have their smear tests re-checked, particularly given that it dates back to 2008.

“The Department of Health and the relevant trusts need to ensure women’s health is a priority and ensure this backlog is dealt with as quickly as possible.

“The women affected by this backlog must be contacted as a matter of urgency and be fully supported through this process.

“I have written to the Department of Health seeking urgent clarity on their plan to speed this process up, and assess the impact on the current backlog of smear test results.

“The north is currently the only region who have not fully rolled out HPV testing, which is the most modern and accurate method of testing for cervical cancer.

“Therefore, I have also asked what impact this will have on the ability of the Department of Health to continue with their plans to fully roll out HPV testing.

 “Women need to know quickly if something is wrong so that it can be identified, allowing treatment to begin as soon as possible.” 

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