The Health Minister insists it is his intention 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 Simon Harris says if the country moves to the new testing method, cervical cancer can become extraordinarily rare:
"(It is) still my intention that HPV testing would be introduced this year," he said.
"I 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 have effectively eradicated cervical cancer.
"We have a cancer in Ireland that we can make extraordinarily rare if we move to HPV testing."