Minister needs to give clarity to Cervical Cancer patients receiving Pembro

14 January 2019

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said it is imperative that the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, must give official confirmation that all women with cervical cancer who are eligible to use Pembro will have their bills for this treatment taken care of by the State.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Before Christmas the Minister for Health, the Taoiseach and Professor Michael Barry made verbal promises to cervical cancer patients that women who are eligible to receive Pembro will have their costs covered by the State. 

“While many women and their clinicians have taken this verbal commitment to be the green light to start treatment, the Minister has yet to officially confirm the State is actually covering the cost through official channels. 

“No one wants to be put in a position where vulnerable women are expected to front the hefty medical bills in the mean time. When Minister Harris makes the official order to make Pembro available, he must backdate the order to when he made the commitment to ensure women are not caught out because of a technicality.

“Women who are undergoing this treatment are already going through enough, they don’t need to be worrying if the Minister is going to make good on his very public promises.”

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