Varadkar 'appalled' by leak of cervical cancer screening report

Desiree Burns
September 14, 2018

VICKY Phelan, the Limerick woman who lifted the lid on the Cervical Check cancer screening scandal, and other women affected by the issue were not given a preview of important new report despite assurances from Health Minister Simon Harris.

It is understood that Dr Gabriel Scally, who carried out the Scally Review into the controversy which affected 221 women and their families, does not believe a commission of investigation is warranted.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said today that he still plans to set up a commission of investigation into the CervicalCheck controversy.

Those affected were due to be briefed on the findings tomorrow, but some of details have been leaked.

Minister Harris described the leaks as "extremely regrettable" and said that he will now try to bring the women's briefing forward to today.

She questioned how this information could be leaked when it's "only with the Government".

"And to wake up this morning and to see news of it all over the papers, it's just heartbreaking".

She said: "I know Vicky was due to have treatment, her life-saving treatment in Dublin, and she was trying to change that so she could be briefed by Dr Gabriel Scally".

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The White House had announced the visit on August 31, taking Varadkar by surprise. The White House did not respond to requests for clarity on Ms Sander's comments.

"It's just so disappointing that throughout this whole experience the main information source that we have is the media".

Vicky Phelan, the terminally ill Limerick mother-of-two who revealed the scandal, spoke of her distress and called the situation a "whitewash".

She was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer following an incorrect smear test result and is now in hospital receiving further treatment. Her story is truly remarkable as she took on the health service and the State to win her case while also refusing to give in to any confidentiality clauses in order to ensure her story could be told.

According to the Irish Times, it's expected to highlight "serious system flaws" in the screening programme.

Ms Phelan was diagnosed with cancer three years after her smear test results of 2011 were incorrectly reported as clear of abnormalities.

Errors in her 2013 test were discovered during CervicalCheck's retrospective audit.

As part of her settlement, the HSE admitted liability for failing to disclose the findings of the audit.

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