THE scaremongering that followed the CervicalCheck controversy has left the cancer screening service in crisis, according to a leading expert in the field.
The CervicalCheck controversy came to light in April 2018 when Limerick woman Vicky Phelan highlighted communication issues surrounding an audit of smears belonging to women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer in the years after their tests.
Dr Nóirín Russell, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital, said CervicalCheck screening has seen massively increased demand since then, but no new resources to deal with the extra workload.
She added that “political grandstanding and scaremongering” led to terrified women constantly contacting the service, and ultimately to staff being abused and quitting their posts.
Speaking to The Echo, Dr Russell said: “The increased demand arrived in May 2018 but the resources to deal with it still have not.
“We’ve seen 57% more women with the same amount of resources.
“That has led to waiting lists in colposcopy, which is something we’ve never had."