Ireland Investigates Cervical Cancer Screening Scandal

Frederick Owens
May 1, 2018

Simon Harris, the health minister, said that the families of all those who died would be informed about the audit by today.

Vicky, 43, who lives in Annacotty, Limerick, and is originally from Mooncoin was diagnosed with cancer three years after her smear test results of 2011 were incorrectly reported as being clear of any abnormalities.

RTÉ News has learned that an audit on the CervicalCheck controversy has found that around half of the 206 women affected were not told they may have had a delayed diagnosis and may have benefited from earlier treatment.

Under the auspices of this investigation an worldwide peer group will also be established to review root and branch our cervical screening programme in Ireland against best global standards and practices.

Dr Peter McKenna, Patrick Lynch and HSE director general Tony O'Brien updated the media on the work of the Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT) on Monday.

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Separately today Taoiseach Leo Varadakar pledged an inquiry into the issues related to CervicalCheck, saying that he was "very angry" at what had occurred. He said that among these, 162 were not told that a review involving their case had been carried out by CervicalCheck, or of the outcome.

Mr Harris said he hopes these steps "will ensure the integrity of the cervical screening programme at the same time as providing learning for all cancer screening programmes".

Kilkenny native Vicky Phelan - whose case has shone a light on the CervicalCheck scandal - has said she could "never have imagined the magnitude" of the problem after it was revealed that 17 women affected by the controversy have died.

'In addition I am appointing an International Clinical Expert Panel to provide the women concerned with an individual clinical review. By God am I going to take these guys on, I think it's disgraceful.

Women with concerns about their results will be able to get repeat tests for free and the Cervical Check helpline is open at 1800 45 45 55.

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