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

WATCH Terminally-ill Limerick woman agrees €2.5m settlement over cancer misdiagnoses

In her High Court activity, which started a week ago, her legal advisors said if the cancerous cells had been recognized in 2011 she would have had a straightforward strategy and would have a 90% shot of survival.

The records emerged after Dr Flannelly publicly acknowledged that she could not say for sure that all of the 206 women who missed early treatment for cervical cancer had been made aware of the situation.

The HSE thanked Prof Flannelly for her "enormous dedication, contribution and expert knowledge" over 12 years.

The HSE is confident that, in keeping with the usual principles of natural justice, the Minister would expect that this peer review would be completed and appropriate procedures followed before there is any judgement passed on the role of the clinical and managerial leadership of the programme.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and the Tanaiste, Simon Coveney, have apologised to Ms Phelan and her family. For over 170 of these women, a referral to a colposcopy might have been recommended earlier, while the remainder might have needed a repeat smear test to occur earlier.

She told gynaecologist Dr Kevin Hickey in an email in July 2017 that several women in the mid-west region should not be told about the false negative tests discovered in an audit after he wrote to her to confirm that she felt some women with cervical cancer should not be informed about them.

The cervical screening test is sensitive and the nature of screening is not diagnostic, so tests can not always confirm the presence or absence of pre-cancerous changes.

"A cancer diagnosis is one of the most, if not the most, hard experiences a person and their family can deal with".

"It has helped reduce the cervical cancer rate nationally at a rate of 7% per year". The Society has full confidence in the service, which we expect will progress from smear to HPV testing as a first-line test in the near future.

Vicky Phelan settled her case yesterday, but has called for an inquiry into the national screening programme. "No woman should have to wait this long for information relevant to their care", it said.

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