Free smears for Kildare woman on Cervicalcheck programme

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

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

A review conducted by the HSE confirmed 208 women should have received earlier intervention than they did but only 46 individuals were made aware of this.

Ms Phelan (43), a mother of two from Limerick, settled her High Court action against a United States laboratory for €2.5 million last week.

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

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris were grilled in Dail Eireann this Tuesday over the HSE's blunder in the controversial CervicalCheck audit, which failed to inform 162 women that a review of smear tests was taking place.

'HPV is associated with 70pc of all cervical cancers and I would stress to women the importance of CervicalCheck and the HPV vaccination programme as key measures in reducing their risk of developing cervical cancer'.

It has led to a controversy over smear test results where a number of women may have been wrongly given the all clear after their cancer tests.

She also reiterated her hope that the women of Ireland continue to have smear tests done.




It will carry out independent clinical reviews of the women affected.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach says he will not fire HSE boss Tony O'Brien after the CervicalCheck scandal.

She told the Ray D'Arcy Show on RTÉ 1 on Saturday night that Minster Harris rang her to personally apologise: "As soon as I heard the voice I knew who it was and he said "hi Vicky, it is Simon Harris here", Ms Phelan explained.

"These are women who have already been diagnosed with cervical cancer and treated as such but their cases have not been included in a clinical audit", Harris said.

Detailed tests for Ireland's CervicalCheck screening programme, which has operated for the last 10 years, normally take place every three years but because of a backlog they were outsourced to a USA company.

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.

175 out of 208 women with cancer would have benefited from earlier treatment, while 162 that were part of a look-back were not told about the review or its outcome.

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