Tuesday 17 September 2019

Women still waiting for release of cancer slides

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Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Some women investigating their right to take legal cases are continuing to experience delays in getting their cancer slides released six months after the CervicalCheck scandal erupted, a leading solicitor has said.

Caoimhe Haughey, who is representing a number of women, said the delay is causing further distress as some of her clients are very ill.

She said in one instance slides were sent to the wrong address in the United States.

A protocol was set up by the HSE during the summer which meant all applications for slides must come through the HSE rather than going to solicitors representing labs.

However, this is unnecessarily bureaucratic and is unsatisfactory, said Ms Haughey.

CervicalCheck found that 221 women who had developed cervical cancer received a wrong test result previously.

However, CervicalCheck only counted women whose diagnosis was delayed by at least 18 months.

Dr Gabriel Scally, who carried out a scoping report on the scandal, recently told the Oireachtas Health Committee that this 18-month threshold was inadequate and it should be lowered.

The committee was told that cancer can take hold in a matter of months.

There are currently no audits being carried by CervicalCheck of tests from women who have developed cancer.

Irish Independent

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