State Claims Agency handling 31 cervical cancer misdiagnosis cases

Political Correspondent

Emma Mhic Mhathuna, one of the women misdiagnosed under the CervicalCheck scheme.

The State Claims Agency (SCA) is handling 31 cases of cervical cancer misdiagnosis relating to the national screening services.

The updated figures have been provided to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and will be discussed today with the HSE.

Correspondence from the agency’s Ciaran Breen shows the level of claims being handled in relation to cervical cancer, bowel cancer, as well as breast cancer misdiagnosis.

The agency has told the PAC it is committed to resolving CervicalCheck cancer misdiagnosis litigation in line with a commitment by the Government, expediting cases in a “sensitive manner”, and using mediation rather than the courts.

Mr Breen said: “The SCA will offer mediation in all of these cases. Currently, the SCA has offered mediation in four cases where the cases are being case managed by the High Court and in circumstances where the women are gravely ill.”

The agency updated PAC with figures, advising it had been notified of eight further cervical cancer cases and one potential case in the first two weeks of June.

It brings the total number of active claims to 28 and potential claims to two, as well as one closed claim.

Furthermore, at the end of May, there was a total 25 bowel cancer misdiagnosis claims with the agency for national and non-national screening services as well as another 49 breast cancer cases for the same two categories.

Meanwhile, a delay in progressing the new Grangegorman DIT campus in Dublin will cost the State an extra €45m, new figures reveal.

Grangegorman Development Agency CEO Ger Casey has told the PAC the increased project demands were partly because of further construction costs due to inflation.

He said the original tender process for the public-private partnership project was agreed at a time when construction costs were low, when bids were received in 2014.

The opening of the college buildings was due for September 2017 but was delayed for a significant period due to a legal challenge.

With an increase of €38m along with Vat bringing the total construction costs to €220m, Mr Casey said the project still represented “value for money”.

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