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NWCI welcomes the announcement by Minister for Health to independently review the CervicalCheck prog

Published: Friday, April 27, 2018

 The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health Simon Harris to independently review CervicalCheck.

Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland said:

“We want to commend Vicky Phelan, who has shown enormous bravery in taking her legal case. Following cervical screening, Vicky’s test results were incorrectly reported as clear of abnormalities and in addition she was not informed until three years after the error came to light, she is now terminally ill with cancer. We want to extend our deepest support to Vicky and to her family. In taking her case, Vicky has exposed issues in her care which have had devastating consequences for her personally and she has also raised concerns for women’s health in Ireland. 

“Women engaging with the screening service are being responsible in looking after their health and seeking to prevent cancer. It has now emerged that 206 women with cervical cancer who had undergone smear tests should have received earlier intervention. CervicalCheck does not know if all of the women affected have been notified by their doctor. Communicating with these women and ensuring they receive all necessary care must be the highest priority for all concerned, for CervicalCheck and for treating doctors.”

Dr Cliona Loughnane, Women’s Health Coordinator said:

“We are welcoming the review of CervicalCheck which has been ordered by the Minister for Health. This review is critical to ensure that we are providing the highest standards in the prevention of cancer and in healthcare for women in Ireland. Failures have been brought into the spotlight by the efforts of Vicky Phelan and lessons must be learnt. Cervical screening remains the best measure we have to avoid cervical cancer, which affects 300 women in Ireland each year. It is vital that the service meets best international standards so that women can have full confidence in the system designed to catch cancers early.”

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For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, 085 8619087.