Minister should not have commenced the CervicalCheck Tribunal without dealing with issues raised by the 221+ group

27 October 2020

Speaking after the regulations allowing the CervicalCheck Tribunal came into force today, Labour Leader and Health Spokesperson Alan Kelly said the Minister should not have signed the Statutory Instrument allowing the tribunal to kick in before dealing with the issues raised by the 221+ group on Friday. 

Deputy Kelly said:

“The 221+ group met with Minister Donnelly in good faith last Friday and again yesterday where he pledged to work with them to deal with their concerns over the adversarial nature of the tribunal format and the statute of limitations. They also believe that any woman who gets a reoccurrence of cancer should be able to return to the tribunal.

“After the meeting, the Department of Health released a statement saying, “there was ongoing constructive engagement” and that Minister Donnelly had agreed to pause the establishment of the tribunal for a number of days.

“However, we now find out today that the Minister has signed and published the statutory instruments without consulting with the 221+ group. This is not acceptable, and the Minister has effectively set a train in motion that he cannot stop.

“The 221+ group have legitimate concerns around the establishment of a tribunal and the Minister should have taken the time as he pledged to do to facilitate further talks on the matter before signing any Statutory Instruments. It is disingenuous for him to claim that the tribunal has been paused when has signed the order allowing it to officially commence.

“The victims of the cervical cancer have suffered enough because the state let them down, the least that Minister Donnelly could have done is dealt with the issues raised with him by the survivors before signing the order for the tribunal. They do not deserve to have to go through an aggressive tribunal against their wishes.

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