Senior HSE officials were warned last year not to offer free smear test re-checks in the wake of the CervicalCheck scandal.
That’s despite Health Minister Simon Harris telling the Dáil they had no advice not to proceed before the decision was made.
It’s led to a backlog of 80,000 women waiting for smear test results – with some taking as long as 33 weeks.
The former clinical lead of CervicalCheck, Grainne Flannelly, has told an Oireachtas Committee she warned colleagues the free re-tests could undermine the screening process and cause long delays.
Her advice was passed to the Department, who proceeded anyway.
Speaking earlier, Patient representative on the Cervical Check Steering Committee Lorraine Walsh said the decision to facilitate free re-tests was taken in good faith