Chief Clinical Officer says CervicalCheck delays will continue into 2021
The service was suspended in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.
CervicalCheck delays will continue into 2021, that's according to HSE Chief Clinical officer, Dr. Colm Henry.
Delays to the service began at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resuming yesterday, July 6th, cases delayed due to Covid are due to be cleared by October.
"For those cases that were suspended as a result of Covid, we will have cleared those by October," Dr. Colm Henry told the Irish Examiner.
"Then, for any further cases as we work our way through those that were delayed, we will be caught up on them by February."
"That is to say any case that was delayed in 2020 as a result of us catching up on those that were suspended from the time that the screening was suspended in March until now."
Dr. Henry said they are concerned for people who have had symptoms suggestive of cancer during COVID-19.
"A big concern for us during this 17-18 weeks is that people who had symptoms, we found that people who attending our own rapid access clinics for those who have symptoms suggestive of cancer, there was a big drop off."
"I would say to people first of all, please if you have symptoms suggestive of cervical cancer or any other cancer, do not wait for a screening programme."
Those with symptoms are advised to go straight to their GP.
Now that the service has been resumed, first of those to be invited for a smear test are those due early repeat screening tests, and those who need repeat tests because their last sample could not be tested.
People who have this year turned 25 and become eligible for their first cervical screening will also be invited to make an appointment.
CervicalCheck will also be contacting people who are on a yearly recall first as they have been waiting longer for their screening appointment.
BreastCheck and BowelScreen are not set to resume until September or October.