Update: HSE boss to take leave of absence from board of US medical company

Update: HSE boss to take leave of absence from board of US medical company

Tony O'Brien, Director General of the HSE, is to take a leave of absence from the board of a US contraceptive manufacturer.

Mr O'Brien, who joined the board of Evofem Biosciences in San Diego, will instead focus his attention on the CervicalCheck scandal until he leaves his role at the HSE in 12 weeks.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney told the Dáil that it was an appropriate course of action.

Earlier: HSE boss refuses to take full responsibility for CervicalCheck scandal, as 10 more women take action

The head of the HSE has refused to take full responsibility for the CervicalCheck scandal.

Tony O'Brien was grilled in the Dáil yesterday on his role in the controversy before admitting he was partly to blame for what happened.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar defended Mr O'Brien, saying that the scandal was more of a mess rather than a conspiracy by people within the HSE.

Mr O'Brien agreed when questioned by Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly.

"As the head of the organisation, obviously I have to recognise that those who 'cocked-up', to use the Taoiseach's phrase, were in that organisation," he said.

"I didn't personally make that cock-up so I can't take full responsibility for it now."

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald called for Mr O'Brien's resignation, calling the controversy a "deceit of the gravest nature".

While he gave no indication of an intention to resign, Mr O'Brien said recent events had been " a personal blow" to him.

It has emerged that at least 10 more women are taking legal action over the cancer screening controversy.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admitted yesterday that there would be a redress scheme for women whose cancer was missed and should have been detected beyond normal error and for women where there was a breach of duty to inform them of audit results.

A scoping exercise is now likely to be carried out by an international expert with a view to drafting terms for a full commission of investigation.

Up to 3,000 tests for women diagnosed with cancer over the last decade will now be reviewed.

- Digital Desk

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