Tuesday 15 October 2019

Taoiseach issues warning to any agencies 'obstructing CervicalCheck scoping inquiry'

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture: Laura Hutton/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture: Laura Hutton/PA Wire
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has issued a warning to any agencies obstructing or delaying the work of the scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck controversy.

Dr Gabriel Scally, a UK expert leading the initial investigation into the CervicalCheck scandal, has criticised the flow and format of documents submitted by the HSE and the Department of Health in the first weeks of the inquiry.

Speaking in the Dail today, responding to questions from Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin, the Taoiseach said he wanted to make clear that the Government expects “full cooperation with Dr Scally and his team and we expect nothing less than that”.

Mr Varadkar said Dr Scally has been told he has a direct line to Health Minister if he encounters any further issues.

This week Dr Scally received 4,000 items of documentation much of which is “difficult to read” and is not searchable because it is scanned electronically.

Fianna Fail urged the Government to consider evolving the Scally Inquiry into a full commission of investigation.

Mr Martin suggested that putting Dr Scally and his team on a statutory footing “might be the most effective way to give teeth [to the inquiry] and ensure there is no more messing”, he said.

The Taoiseach said the Government is fully committed to establishing a formal commission of investigation in the future but said that may see progress slowed somewhat and noted that the work to date - a progress report and an interim report - would not have been possible under a statutory inquiry at this point.

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