Health Care

Simon Harris to organise free repeat smear tests after cervical cancer controversy

Simon Harris to organise free repeat smear tests after cervical cancer controversy”

Harris took to Twitter on Saturday to share the news of the repeat tests on offer, which, according to him, will be paid for by the State.

Simon Harris has said he does not know how many women may have died from the recent cervical smear controversy.

Yesterday evening the clinical director of Cervical Check, Dr Gráinne Flannelly stepped down.

"I have chose to step aside to allow the programme to continue it's important work", she said.

The Irish Times reported on Saturday that Dr Flannelly had advised a Limerick gynaecologist to file some audited smear test results rather than to tell women in certain cases that all-clear smear tests they had received years earlier were wrong.

According to the HSE, nearly 1,500 cases of cervical cancer have been notified to the cervical screening programme, CervicalCheck, since it began a decade ago.

The HSE also expressed confidence in that team to address the current concerns and said the review "will determine any learnings and opportunities for improvement within the CervicalCheck programme".

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She revealed that Simon Harris had called her personally to apologise for the health service letting her down. In advance of the peer review being completed it is considered essential that the remainder of the leadership team of the programme remain in situ.

Vicky Phelan, with her husband Jim, was awarded €2.5m from the High Court after she sued the HSE and a lab in the United States for failing to tell her the correct diagnosis of a smear test in 2011.

Earlier on Saturday, Mr Harris's Department of Health confirmed that it had advised CervicalCheck to arrange for additional smear tests for women whose Global Positioning System say they need them - at the cost of the State.

Earlier the Minister Harris said he had lost confidence in senior management in CervicalCheck.

The Tánaiste apologised in the Dail to the Annacotty woman who was given incorrect test results and is now terminally ill with cervical cancer.

THE MOTHER OF TWO appeared on Saturday's Ray D'Arcy show to tell her heartbreaking story of a delayed cervical cancer diagnosis.

€700,000 of today's settlement has already been earmarked for the couple's two young children.



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