Official review into CervicalCheck scandal not recommending commission of investigation

Official review into CervicalCheck scandal not recommending commission of investigation
Dr Gabriel Scally

A commission of investigation into the cervical cancer smear test controversy which affected more than 200 women does not need to be established, an official review is expected to conclude.

It has been reported that review chair Dr Gabriel Scally has concluded he has found out everything that needed to be uncovered into the CervicalCheck scandal, which saw 221 women with cervical cancer not informed that smear test results showing them to be clear were inaccurate, and that revised test results kept from them.

It is understood that Dr Scally briefed Health Minister Simon Harris on Monday on his review's findings. A 200-page report is expected to be published on Wednesday.

There have been criticisms from the affected women and their families after the report was leaked before they could read it.

Mr Harris has described the leak as "extremely regrettable", adding that it should not have happened.

According the The Irish Times, Dr Scally's report does not believe a commission of investigation is needed. He is expected to say in the report that there are other ways to deal with the issues.

However, the Government will decide whether a commission will be established.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland Mr Harris said that he still intended to set up a commission but would still allow the report to be published and to ensure all parties would be briefed on it's findings.

He said: "What I intend to do is let the report be published, let Dr Scally speak...meet with the Opposition, meet with some of those affected and impacted by this terrible debacle, and then decide whether people feel there is need for one.

"But absolutely if there is a feeling that there is a need for one that will be the case.

"The only people who can change that decision are the Government and the Oireachtas, but obviously if a very eminent expert has been asked to look at this area and has made a view I think its important that we at least let the report be published and consider why he arrived at that point."

Stephen Teap, whose wife Irene died from cervical cancer last year after two undisclosed false tests, said he was "heartbroken".

The Cork man tweeted: "Heartbroken at disrespect shown to families at leaking of parts of report."

Vicky Phelan, whose High Court settlement exposed the scandal earlier this year, will be briefed along with Mr Teap and a number of other women and their families by Mr Harris before the Scally report will be published in full.

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