Press Release

Update Regarding Cervical Screening

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr Brian Cowen T.D. , today (15th April , 1999) confirmed that in addition to the North Western Health Board, the North Eastern Health Board and Beaumont Hospital referred smear tests to the laboratory in question. No other health board or hospital used the laboratory for cervical cytology.

In 1997 following primary screening by the Board, the North Eastern Health Board referred 150 slides to the laboratory for examination. Arrangements have been made for a full recheck with a laboratory in the United Kingdom. This recheck should be completed within one week.

Also in 1997 Beaumont Hospital referred 160 slides to the laboratory. The hospital has now initiated an in-house review of all of these cases and this will also be completed within one week.

The Minister confirmed that all of the 68 women concerned in the North Western Heath Board have been contacted and have been offered appropriate follow up.

The Minister would again like to reassure women that regular cervical screening at minimum intervals of five years is the best method available to detect changes in the cells of the cervix. He emphasised again that an abnormal smear result does not mean that a woman has cancer.