CervicalCheck ‘roadblocks’ are entirely of Government’s own making

02 August 2018

Labour Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has criticised the Government for their handling of the Cervical Check scandal.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Despite assurances from the Taoiseach that cases would not end up in the courts, the announcement made by the Government do little to assure the women affected that they won’t have to end up in Court to get redress.

“The Minister for Health took to the national airwaves this morning to say that they had simply hit roadblocks in the dealing of this issue. Those at the centre of this issue know that these so called roadblocks are of the Government’s own making as they can’t keep to their own word.

“The real roadblocks are the agencies of the State such as the State Claims Agency and the HSE who are showing a complete lack of empathy for these women and their families and chasing them through the courts when they could be dealt with in a more dignified way.

“Today, Minister Harris regrettably returned to the line that the Cervical Check scandal is par to the course when it comes to screening errors. For the sake of the women involved, the Government need to wise up and move away from this line of thinking and take into account the experiences of women at the centre of this heartbreaking scandal.

“It is absolutely vital that each and every woman who has been diagnosed with cervical cancer and has been caught up in this scandal, past, present and future, has their medical costs covered by the State; this is the very least that we can do.

“These women, some of whom have already sadly passed away, are already going through enough worry and concern with their personal diagnoses and treatment without being further burdened with having to go through the courts. The Taoiseach promised that these cases would be dealt with outside of the courts, but we know this is not the case.

“If it wasn’t for the bravery of women like Vicky Phelan keeping on the pressure this situation would continue to remain stagnant and the Government would continue to have an entirely cold and clinical approach to this situation. The Taoiseach and his Government need to realise that this is real women’s lives we are dealing with and it is not an issue that can be boxed off.

“I sincerely hope that the Government will keep to their word and we don’t see anymore cases in the courts in Autumn.”

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