The HSE says it can’t confirm reports that 12 women whose cancer diagnoses were delayed have died.
They’re among 206 women identified in an audit of CervicalCheck, who may have had a delayed misdiagnosis were not told about it by their doctors.
Leo Varadkar says there will be an inquiry, while Clare’s Independent TD insists the HSE must face consequences
Clare FM’s Derrick Lynch reports:
The CervicalCheck controversy is deepening, with the Taoiseach confirming this morning that an inquiry into the matter will be held.
It first emerged a week ago when Limerick woman Vicky Phelan reached a settlement in her case after being wrongly told she had the all-clear.
That was in 2011 and in January of this year, Vicky was told her cervical cancer was terminal.
It’s led to widespread concern about the screening programme, and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a doctor himself, says serious questions need to be answered.
A special helpline was set up to answer the calls of women concerned about the results of their smear tests.
Over the weekend, that line had over 2,000 calls and is continuing to receive calls today.
Clare’s Independent TD Dr Michael Harty is chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee and is calling on representatives from Cervical Check, the HSE and the Department of Health to appear before that group.
He’s expressing serious concern at the developments today.
Meanwhile, the Children’s Minister says we need to know who was responsible for signing off on the legal strategy in the cases of Vicky Phelan and other women who had a delayed cancer diagnosis.
Katherine Zappone says it’s one of a number of issues that need to be investigated in this scandal.
Despite the growing pressure on CervicalCheck, women are still being urged to avail of their smear tests.
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.