Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (371)

Micheál Martin

Question:

371. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health when he and his officials met following the most recent High Court judgment that required absolute certainty in the CervicalCheck screening programme; the actions he is taking to address the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21494/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Since the judgement referred to was issued, I have had a number of discussions and meetings with officials from my Department regarding the potential implications, and the appropriate response. 

My officials and I, in conjunction with the State Claims Agency and the Office of the Attorney General, are carefully studying the recent High Court judgment in the case referred to. It is important that there is careful legal analysis of this judgment as an input to the proper assessment of its implications for the health service. Following this, I will take steps to find a mechanism to brief health spokespersons or the health committee on the legal advice or rationale behind any approach I may take.

I am conscious that decisions in relation to this case will impact individual women as well as having wider implications. I want to reassure women that the Government is committed to ensuring that our life-saving cancer screening programmes can continue to operate to a high standard. I believe this objective is widely supported across the floor of this House.