Dr Rita Doyle, the President of the Medical Council has stated that asking patients to attend for repeat cervical smears due to the fact that their original samples are expiring beyond use is unacceptable.
Dr Doyle issued a official statement to the media following reports that a number of women who were being re-tested in the aftermath of CervicalCheck controversy might have to go have a another smear test again as their samples are almost past the point of valid use.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has revealed that in some cases smears may have to be taken again as the samples obtained have been stored for longer that their six-week period of use. The HSE also said that they will try and stop samples expiring but added that there has been a massive increase in the numbers of smears that contracted laboratories have to conduct.
Following this news, Dr Doyle urged that doctors who conduct the screening be supported as much as possible so they can complete timely laboratory analysis.
Dr Doyle said: “This is unacceptable to both patients and doctors. This could have the potential to have a further negative impact on the public’s confidence in screening services which would be very concerning. I am aware of reports of a recent development of a bottleneck in the analysis of cervical smears, whereby smears are not analysed in a timely fashion thus forcing the woman to re-attend and the doctor to repeat the smear.
She (Dr Doyle) went on to say that the Medical Council hopes to soon receive the results of the Scally Report. The Medical Council has also contacted the HSE to request information pertaining to any reports commissioned into the CervicalCheck issue.
Dr Doyle Concluded: “If there are issues around professional performance or conduct relating to individual doctors they will be investigated and dealt with by the Medical Council in a fair manner according to our procedures and regulatory powers”.