What Minister Simon Harris was told ahead of Vicky Phelan case

May 02, 2018, 01:28
What Minister Simon Harris was told ahead of Vicky Phelan case

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.

The HSE confirmed earlier this week that 17 women had died out of a total 208 not told they may have had a delayed diagnosis and may have benefited from earlier treatment.

The Texas-based lab which distributes CervicalCheck's smear test results will pay the settlement.

It means some 162 women did not know there might be a problem with their cancer check.

"These are not new cases of cancer".

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Vicky Phelan, who has been told she only has months to live, was awarded €2.5m in the High Court last week.

The National Screening Service assured the Department of Heath that no quality issues has arisen in relation the United States laboratory that performed the 2011 test.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly has said Tony O'Brien's reaction to the CervicalCheck scandal "stretches credibility".

"This is a massive patient safety issue, look what has been uncovered because of it".

The smear tests of nearly 1,500 women diagnosed with cervical cancer over the past ten years may be analysed as part of a review announced by the health minister, The Times has learnt. "By God am I going to take these guys on, I think it's disgraceful".

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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 recently approved a proposal from the National Screening Service to Move to HPV testing as the primary test for cervical cancer from October 2018.

In an interview on RTE Radio One on Monday, Ms Phelan said: "I could be another one of those women".

Mr Harris said he did not have "specific figures" but agreed with Fianna Fáil's Stephen Donnelly that it could be in the region of 1,500. He said a liaison nurse will coordinate with the women.

Vicky Phelan's lawyer, Cian O'Carroll, called the conduct throughout the process appalling and said, "it is particularly disgusting when you learn of the number of people that have died".

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The HSE has said it will provide further information and updates over the coming days on cervicalcheck.ie and anyone with concerns may contact the CervicalCheck information phone line on 1800 45 45 55.

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