Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (223)

Alan Kelly


223. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health his plans to apologise to the women and their families who have been affected by the cervical cancer scandal; the way in which he will do same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28426/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Consideration is being given to an appropriate form of apology, and this will be discussed with the 221+ before any final decision is made. I have met and spoken with many of the women involved, including at a meeting in January 2019, at which I apologised for how women and families were treated, as well as thanking them for sharing their views and experiences. The National Cancer Screening Service wrote last year to each woman affected, or their next of kin, apologising for the failures in relation to disclosure and setting out the actions being taken by the HSE to address the issues identified. The former Director General of the HSE, and the former head of Cervical Check have also apologised personally to individual women when the opportunity has arisen. Last year, Cervical Check placed advertisements with national media outlets apologising for how standards fell short in relation to this issue. It is also very important to note the actions taken by the State to address the issues identified in the Scoping Inquiry led by Dr Scally. Government has accepted in full the recommendations of the Scoping Inquiry and work is ongoing to implement these in full. In relation to the women concerned I am pleased that the Ex-Gratia Scheme has made its first payments in relation to the non-disclosure of audit results, and I understand that the panel will meet again shortly to consider further payments