Dáil Éireann - Volume 441 - 14 April, 1994
Written Answers - Cervical Screening Service.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
48. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health if he intends to introduce any scheme where cervical smear tests are made available free of charge to women; if he will give details of the availability, if any, of those services at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Barry Mr. Barry
70. Mr. Barry asked the Minister for Health if the existing screening facilities available to women in respect of smear testing are adequate to meet women's health requirements, with particular reference to ready access to such testing on a regular and systematic basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
136. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if the existing screening facilities available to women in respect of smear testing are adequate to meet women's health requirements, with particular reference to ready access to such testing on a regular and systematic basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
167. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister  for Health if his attention has been drawn to the ICA request for a comprehensive screening service for cervical cancer; if he intends to respond positively to this proposal; if such a service will be available in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin) Brendan Howlin
Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin): I propose to take Questions Nos.48, 70, 136 and 167 together. A cervical screening service is available to all women through their general practitioner, family planning clinics, maternity hospitals and special clinics organised by health boards.
The service is free to all women in health centres where it is carried out. General practitioners and family planning clinics who carry out cervical screening would as a rule charge women who wish to be screened.
A working party was established in 1988 to review the cervical smear testing service. This group produced a very constructive interim report. A commitment was given in the Programme for Economic and Social Progress that the working group on cervical screening would be reconvened. The first meeting of the reconvened group took place on Friday 27 November 1992 with the following terms of reference: to review the implementation of the recommendations of the interim report of the Working Party on Cervical Screening; to review the general efficacy and cost effectiveness of the operation of the present systems and to consider what further cost effective improvements can be made.
The working group is chaired by the chief medical officer of my Department and includes experts from various fields. The group expects to finish its report and to present its recommendations to me in the very near future. On receipt of the working groups' report I will review the situation on cervical screening.
Dáil Éireann 441 Written Answers Cervical Screening Service.