Tuesday 18 June 2019

HSE agrees to cover cost of drug for Vicky Phelan

Brave mum Vicky Phelan
Brave mum Vicky Phelan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

LIMERICK woman Vicky Phelan who brought national attention to the cervical cancer screenings scandal has revealed the HSE have agreed to cover the cost of a drug she is taking.

Speaking to Ray D'Arcy on his Radio One show on Friday afternoon Ms Phelan - who has drawn widespread praise and admiration for her bravery in bringing the failings to light - confirmed that the HSE has agreed to pay the substantial cost.

Ms Phelan, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, has been taking the Pembrolizumab in the hope of beating the cancer.

The drug, which she gets every three weeks, costs more than €8,000 for every dose.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has invited the mother-of-two to take part in a scoping exercise which will be part of the investigations into CervicalCheck and the problems she has brought to light.

VIDEO: Redress scheme and review of cancer cases announced 

She has welcomed her invitation and said she does not take things likely.

"I will be grilling them and I won't be making it easy," she said.

Ms Phelan also said she has been somewhat frustrated by a lack of accountability, saying "I suppose this is just politics".

"No one speaks their mind and comes out and tells it as it is," she said.

She said Health Minister Simon Harris has "probably been the best politician amongst them who's actually trying to deal with this".

"Varadkar has been a bit quite I thought, maybe he's leaving it up to the Minister for health... I want action at this stage and it's been a bit slow," she said.

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