Families must be briefed on Scally Report and Lab contract leak explained

10 September 2018

Labour Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD has called on the Minister for Health to guarantee that representatives of the families affected by Cervical Check receive the Scally report before publication, in tandem with the Cabinet.

Deputy Kelly also raised concerns about the timing of the leak of concerns about the renewal of lab contracts for the screening of smear tests.

Deputy Kelly said:

“The report by Dr Scally was submitted to the Department of Health on Friday and is to be reviewed by the Attorney General prior to the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

“The Minister for Health is due to meet Dr Scally on Tuesday to be briefed on it’s contents, and he must ensure and guarantee that the families impacted are also fully briefed in advance of publication.

“There are over 200 families who should not have to read about the contents of the Scally Report in newspaper headlines on Wednesday.

“Those families deserve respect and privacy, and the Minister must ensure that representatives such as Vicky Phelan and Stephen Teap are fully briefed in advance of media reports. The last thing that should happen is those impacted being asked questions about the contents of a report they haven’t seen yet.

“The Minister has 48 hours to ensure this happens.

“I am also deeply concerned at the reports this weekend that contracts may not be renewed for screening laboratories due to demands to underwrite the legal costs of previous and future medical negligence cases.

“This news emerging alongside the submission of the Scally Report is troubling, and I am concerned there is an attempt to link the two. The motive of this leak must be explained and I would be annoyed if it was an effort to exploit the wrongs done to women across Ireland.

“Whatever the outcome of the report, it is essential that the screening programme continues to operate in advance of the roll-out of HPV testing.”

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