Public accounts committee hears probe into CervicalCheck scandal may be delayed by months

The Government's commission of investigation into the cervical cancer tests scandal could be delayed by "months" because up to 3,000 women potentially affected must be individually contacted before their results can be examined.

Dáil public accounts committee chair and Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming made the claim this morning after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed the individual contacts during a Dáil debate on Wednesday.

Speaking at the latest PAC meeting this morning, Mr Fleming noted Mr Varadkar's comments and said it is important women are individually contacted before British experts access their files.

However, the PAC chair added that the situation could significantly delay the Government's commission of investigation into the scandal which is planned to begin in September, causing further distress for those involved.

"To get consent from thousands of people is going to add months to the process," Mr Fleming told the PAC before its meeting with the National Treasury Management Agency and the State Claims Agency this morning.

Dáil public accounts committee chair and Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming

While no exact timetable has been provided, the Department of Health last week suggested the review of individual files could take four to six months.

Mr Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris had originally claimed when the cervical cancer tests scandal publicly emerged in late April that the initial review process would be completed by the end of May.


More on this topic

‘Minister should have factored in Jade Goody effect before offering free smears’

Tánaiste: Introduction of HPV testing not being 'long-fingered'

Smear backlog delays HPV testing

Taoiseach acknowledges 'enormous anxiety' of women waiting for cervical cancer test results

More in this Section

Time to make Irish partition history, Michelle O’Neill tells supporters

Sinn Fein to meet police over failure to reveal material on mass shooting

Pope has chance to change church's response to scandal, campaigner says

Protesters gather outside home of Minister Richard Bruton


Lifestyle

Outside the box: A tale of two Calais and suffering beyond reason

Opening Lines: I feel sorry for the dogs. Even they have a sense of shame about having to poo in public

New TV show highlights lack of cycle lanes in Ireland in comparison to rest of Europe

Online Lives: Creator of popular health and lifestyle blog Sarah Dwan

More From The Irish Examiner