Simon Harris to raise concerns about impact of CervicalCheck ruling by High Court

The HSE has raised concerns about the impact of the recent High Court ruling on the state of the CervicalCheck scheme, Health Minister Simon Harris will say tomorrow.

Mr Harris will tomorrow say the Government is “committed to addressing concerns” over the CervicalCheck system and that we will work with the clinical community in so doing.

Mr Harris is to address the Oireachtas Health committee alongside Paul Reid, the new CEO of the Health Service Executive, and will address the controversy surrounding the recent High Court ruling by Judge Kevin Cross in the case of Ruth Morrissey.

“My officials and I, in conjunction with the State Claims Agency and the Office of the Attorney General are now carefully studying the judgment. My Department received correspondence from the HSE which sets out concerns relating to potential implications for, in particular, screening services arising from the judgment,” Mr Harris will say.

“I want the clinical community to know that both I, as Minister for Health, and the Government, understand their concerns and we are committed to addressing these concerns and that we will work with the clinical community in so doing. I intend to meet the leadership of the medical profession as part of my response to the issues arising,” he will say.

Mr Reid will tell committee members that he is demanding that his body achieves a financial break-even scenario this year.

“Notwithstanding these strengthened controls, it is a fact the health service is continuously dealing with increased demands. Therefore this process is intended to ensure that we commit the resources where required, within the available resources,” he will say.

“This is a very challenging process. But we must build a culture of delivering within the budget allocated to us by the state. When we do this, I believe that we will be in a stronger position to invest for the future,” Mr Reid will say.

Mr Reid will accept that waiting times for care remain too long.

There is progress in relation to reducing numbers waiting for access to surgery with figures published for April 2019 showing the number of patients waiting for inpatient/day case procedures at 70,295 which represents a decrease of over 9,000 patients when compared to April 2018.

Outpatient waiting list numbers remain too high, with 551,965 waiting for an Outpatient appointment, he will say.

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