I had a colposcopy at the start of September. The consultant advised the team I should have biopsies taken from my cervix, to be sent to a lab.
He told me I would hear back in a few weeks. I called the Rotunda on September 16 and the automated recording said there is a 15-week wait for results. On the HSE website, it states results take UP TO six weeks.
For a comparator to see how women who have taken the private route are dealt with, I emailed the Mater where I received a response on the same day, telling me the turnaround for results is between 10 and 20 days.
What use is an apology to women and their families from the Taoiseach if we have to wait TEN times longer than women who can afford private healthcare? Given our neo-liberal government and their fondness of consultants and outsourcing instead of investment into public services, it is hardly remiss of me to suggest some level of outsourcing to the labs which can turn around results in 10 to 20 days?
The women in the colposcopy unit in the Rotunda are so kind, empathic and caring, they too are suffering as a result of the massive increase in appointments in their clinic without any additional resources.
I emailed the office of Simon Harris on September 17 querying the waiting time, I have followed up four times and to date, I have heard nothing from them. No one cares about the anxiety and worry that I and other women have to unnecessarily endure. Women in this State are literally dying because of the lack of care and urgency given to their bodies.
After all the trauma women and their families have been through, apologies are worthless unless something changes. There is no excuse for it.
This reader's opinion was first published in the print edition of the Irish Examiner on 25 October 2019