Monday 12 November 2018

Mum diagnosed with cervical cancer after incorrect smear test result to find out how long she has to live on Friday - Dail told

Emma Ní Mhathúna was diagnosed with second stage cervical cancer in 2016
Emma Ní Mhathúna was diagnosed with second stage cervical cancer in 2016
John Downing

John Downing

A MOTHER of five who was diagnosed with cancer after receiving an incorrect smear test result will find out on Friday how long she has to live, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald told the Dáil this afternoon.

Deputy McDonald said she had spoken with Emma Ní Mhathúna (37), who was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 despite her 2013 smear test results coming back clear.

Ms Ní Mhathúna was only informed of the test result last Sunday by her doctor, after news of issues surrounding CervicalCheck emerged.

Ms McDonald said she has spoken to her about the tragedy and claims Ms Ní Mhathúna said she no longer has no confidence in Tony O’Brien continuing as director general of the Health Service Executive.

The Sinn Féin leader again called for Mr O’Brien’s sacking, arguing that the public and even some Ministers no longer had confidence in the HSE boss.

The Taoiseach again insisted that Mr O’Brien will continue to the end of his contract in eight week’s time. He also appealed to Deputy McDonald not to put “misinformation” into the public sphere.

Emma Ní Mhathúna was diagnosed with second stage cervical cancer in 2016
Emma Ní Mhathúna was diagnosed with second stage cervical cancer in 2016

Mr Varadkar also confirmed that reforms to the HSE will mean a new “chief executive” rather than a “director general” will be appointed to replace Mr O’Brien.  This will mean the new HSE head will have less power.

"The most egregious aspect of this whole affair is that people’s health was withheld from them, and that is wrong," Mr  Varadkar said. 

The Taoiseach again said he was "annoyed" at the "drip drip" of information.

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