The Tánaiste has dismissed suggestions that the switch to HPV testing to detect cervical cancer is "being long-fingered".
Simon Coveney was responding to opposition criticism in the Dáil after it emerged a date for the introduction of the HPV test could not be confirmed.
The Government insists that dealing with the backlog in smear tests will be prioritised.
However, Minister Coveney says work is already underway to transition to the new system.
"The introduction of HPV testing is not being long-fingered but it is going to be done properly to make sure that that transition works and that we don't add any further uncertainty in relation to CervicalCheck in the future," he said.
"This decision isn't going to be rushed. The work is already underway to actually make sure that this transition happens in a way that's seamless and works."