All 1500 cervical cancer cases will be reviewed

Vicky Phelan

Speaking on RTÉ's "This Week in Politics" programme, Minister for Health Simon Harris said he does not know how many women may have died arising from the cervical smear controversy.

Dr. Grainne Flannelly, the clinical director of the government-run CervicalCheck program, which provides free smear tests to women between 25 and 60, resigned over the weekend.

An global peer group will also be established to carry out a...

Her decision to step down comes on the back of Health Minister Simon Harris' comments that he can't have confidence in the managers of Cervical Check. I am determined that swift action will follow to address these weaknesses.

208 women have been affected by the screening controversy and the HSE confirmed this afternoon that 162 of those women were not told that a review had been conducted of their tests.

Chair of the HSE Serious Incident Management Team, Patrick Lynch, today said that 17 women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy had died.




'Therefore I am now writing to HIQA to request that they commence a Section 9 (2) statutory investigation, with all necessary powers, including compellability to examine the CervicalCheck screening programme arising from the issues highlighted by Vicky Phelan.

While insisting that cancer screening "does work", he acknowledged that there had been "appalling communication failures".

"I could be another one of those women and if I had died I would be on that list".

"I don't think anyone could have imagined the magnitude of this".

Emails released in the Phelan case showed that the CervicalCheck program had advised some doctors not to tell their patients about the 2014 review, arguing that finding out about the false negatives would not affect their current treatment.

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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