Sligo Hospital involved in cervical cancer controversy

The wrong was so great, her message so powerful - Vicky's story has saved lives

The HSE has confirmed that of the 208 women who were affected by the screening controversy, 17 of those women died.

"That 162 of 208 women were not promptly told of the errors associated with their smear test results is unacceptable in a modern health service".

The minister was given the details of the case and informed that a patient (Vicky Phelan) was taking a case against the Health Service Executive and the United States laboratory that carried out cervical screening tests. The next step will be to publish its Terms of Reference, which will be in about a fortnight's time.

"For any woman who has had a CervicalCheck smear test and where her GP feels she should have a further test as part of her reassurance, the Minister has asked CervicalCheck to make the necessary arrangements, including payment provision".

On Saturday evening, the clinical director of CervicalCheck, Dr Grainne Flannelly, stepped down from her post "to allow the programme to continue its important work".

"This is a very hard thing to do when you are literally dying, and you are being told that the case will take weeks in court and there will be no chance of a settlement", Mr. O'Carroll said.

During her appearance Ms Phelan also questioned Mr O'Brien's assertion that he only heard of her case via news reports.

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It began with terminally ill Limerick woman Vicky Phelan's court case finishing up last week and now Health Minister Simon Harris is under pressure to release a memo he was given about the issue before Vicky's case.

Ms Phelan has said she does not believe Mr O'Brien learned about her case last week.

More than 2,000 women have called the CervicalCheck helpline over the weekend.

In all, some 1,400 women developed cervical cancer after previously testing negative in smear tests during the 2010-2014 period.

"And by God I'm going to take these guys on. The Taoiseach has offered to meet with me privately, so I said yes in principle, but at the moment I'm trying to concentrate on my health and I have a lot of treatments coming up this week, so I told him I'd get back to him", Ms Phelan said.

A helpline, which has been established by the HSE, has received more than 6,000 calls.

'I recently approved a proposal from the National Screening Service to Move to HPV testing as the primary test for cervical cancer from October 2018. He also said it is not yet known how numerous 17 deaths were due cervical cancer.

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