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Dr Gabriel Scally firm paid €1.13m for work on cervical screening scandal


Public health expert Dr Gabriel Scally. Photo: Tony Gavin

Public health expert Dr Gabriel Scally. Photo: Tony Gavin

Public health expert Dr Gabriel Scally. Photo: Tony Gavin

A firm set up by public health expert Dr Gabriel Scally has been paid €1.13m for work on the Cervical Check screening programme scandal.

That is according to new figures provided by the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

In a written Dáil reply to Labour leader Alan Kelly, Mr Donnelly confirmed that last year the Department of Health paid Dr Scally’s Gabriel Scally Consultants Ltd €159,129.

This followed payments totalling €445,843 made to the Scally firm in 2019 and payments of €529,157 in 2018.

Dr Scally – who currently enjoys a high media profile in his commentary on the Government response to Covid-19 – only established Gabriel Scally Consultants Ltd in June 2018. The accounts for 2019 show that the company recorded a profit of €136,788 for the year and had accumulated profits of €203,681 at the end of December 2019.

Dr Scally is the author of the State’s report into the CervicalCheck controversy and the report reviewed revelations that hundreds of women had not been informed of an audit of their cervical smear tests after being diagnosed with cancer.

The inquiry was set up in May 2018 after terminally ill Limerick woman, Vicky Phelan settled her High Court case for €2.5m over being given incorrect smear test results.

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However, Dr Scally’s work didn’t stop at the publication of the report.

The Government accepted all 50 recommendations made in Dr Scally's Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck Programme, which was published on September 12, 2018.

An implementation plan was published in December 2018 and the then Health Minister Simon Harris requested Dr Scally to undertake an independent review of the Implementation Plan.

Dr Scally was requested to undertake a further implementation review, and this took place in late 2019. The report of this review of the implementation of the recommendations of the Scoping Inquiry into CervicalCheck was received by the department in April 2020.

The review was published last December and Mr Donnelly stated: “In this review report, Dr Scally says that substantial progress has been made, the vast majority of actions were on track or were completed, and he is satisfied with the approach and structures in place for implementation.”

Mr Donnelly told Mr Kelly: “Dr Scally suggested, in his second review report, that he ‘conduct one final progress review at a suitable point sometime after the coronavirus crisis has abated’.”

Mr Donnelly said that he is “supportive of this and will raise it with the CervicalCheck Steering Committee at the appropriate time”.

He said that Dr Scally is also a member of the Crowe Consultancy team in place to provide an evidence review and to make recommendations for a Policy Framework for Open Disclosure in Healthcare in Ireland.

Crowe has completed its work after submitting their report in January and the report is to be published on the department website, said Mr Donnelly.

Clarification: We are happy to clarify that Dr Scally has not personally received any payment for his work on the Cervical Check Inquiry. The payments to Gabriel Scally Consultants Limited were made by the Department of Health to discharge the administrative costs of running the Inquiry including support staff, office accommodation, external expertise and travel costs. We apologise to Dr Scally for any confusion

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