Extra CervicalCheck tests end
The HSE has written to GPs to advise them that the additional free smear tests offered by CervicalCheck will no longer be available after December 31.
The tests, which a woman could avail of outside her normal schedule, were offered in the wake of the CervicalCheck scandal.
There has been a huge take-up of nearly 100,000 tests.
But a backlog of around 80,000 tests has arisen - and women are waiting five months for a result due to the pressure on laboratories.
The HSE said yesterday that any repeat smear tests and associated consultations scheduled up to or on December 31 would be eligible for payment by the HSE.
It said screening was one of the best ways to prevent cervical cancer, and that the HSE recommended that all women aged 25 to 60 continued to attend their regular, free smear tests.