GPs concerned Cervical Check controversy undermining entire screening programme

The HSE says contact has been made with 203 women or families affected

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File photo. Image: Andrew Matthews / PA Wire/Press Association Images

GPs around the country are concerned the Cervical Check controversy is undermining the whole screening programme.

They say there has been a lack of clear explanations regarding the benefits and disadvantages of the scheme.

Dr Padraig McGarry is Chairman of the GP committee of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO).

He is worried that the events of the past two weeks could lead to less women coming forward for testing.

"It has helped prevent cervical cancers over the number of years by getting changes at an early stage, and that is vitally important.

"It should continue, it is very good in its own right when used correctly.

"I know it has certain limitation - it is not a diagnostic tool, it's a screening tool - but it has been very helpful in that regard".

It comes as most of the women affected by the Cervical Check audit have now been contacted.

The latest update from the Health Service Executive (HSE) says of the 209 cases where the audit showed their test could have provided a different result, contact has now been made with 203 women or families.

It says meetings have either been held or arranged with them.

Further information about the audit and advice for anyone concerned is available on cervicalcheck.ie.