The Health Minister Simon Harris has insisted he intends to roll out HPV testing this year.
It had been due to be introduced in September, but was delayed due to the backlog in the number of smear tests.
The new test is set to be the primary screening method for the prevention of cervical cancer.
Minister Harris told Newstalk Breakfast that if the country moves to the new testing method, cervical cancer can become extraordinarily rare.
"It's still my intention that HPV testing would be introduced this year.
"But I actually think we can do better than that.
"If you look at other countries - if you look at Australia, if you look at New Zealand - they've affectively eradicated cervical cancer.
"We have a cancer in Ireland that we can make extraordinarily rare, if we move to HPV testing".
He also suggested that financial support for couples trying for a baby using IVF treatment could be on the cards.
Minister Harris said he wants to see progress on the issue, and that most countries in the European Union provide support.
He said the regulation of the IVF treatment in Ireland is also a priority.
"I'm not satisfied that we don't provide financial support to couples trying to have a baby through IVF.
"We're outliers in this regard, most countries in the European Union now do this.
"I want to see progress on that this year.
"I want to bring forward the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill, so we can regulate the whole area of IVF".