Mandatory open disclosure was crucial to passing the Vicky Test says Kelly

16 February 2023

Labour’s Alan Kelly TD paid tribute to the late campaigner Vicky Phelan as the Patient Safety Bill passed through the Dáil last night (Wednesday, February 15th).

Marking this step in the legislation, Deputy Kelly extended his thanks to Lorraine Walsh, Stephen Teap and the 221+ Group for their work campaigning for this Bill.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Ireland changed forever the day that Vicky Phelan chose to stand on the steps of the High Court and reveal to the women of Ireland the ways in which they had been failed by a culture of secrecy. Vicky was determined to ensure the passing of the Patient Safety Bill and the introduction of mandatory open disclosure for the women of Ireland. I am proud to have played my role in achieving this legacy for her.

“Mandatory disclosure will ensure that people have an absolute right to know information about their healthcare, that hospitals, screening providers, doctors don’t keep information from people. It is incredible that we have had to legislate for this, it should have been a given.

“A crucial part of this was to ensure that patients could seek a review of their screening results post a cancer diagnosis. It was vital that this was achieved.

“Before she passed, Vicky left nothing unsaid, and asked that I left nothing undone.

“Thanks to Vicky, Lorraine, Stephen and the 221+ Group, work on bringing the labs home is in train, HPV testing and HPV vaccinations are in place and are being expanded, and now we have a Patient Safety Bill that meets the Vicky Test, a critical piece of legislation that Vicky wanted front and centre.

“This long battle that Vicky started has had enormous results. Better awareness of screening. A developing understanding amongst the public that screening is not diagnostic. The introduction of HPV screening. What has happened over the last number of years to women and their families has been a black mark on our State’s history and, through the passage of this bill, one that hopefully won’t be repeated.”

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