CervicalCheck tribunal cannot be delayed, Department informs patient group

Labour Leader Alan Kelly hit out at the decision to proceed in the face of the concerns raised.
CervicalCheck tribunal cannot be delayed, Department informs patient group

Vicky Phelan has been highly critical of the decision to establish the tribunal without proper consultation. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The cancer patient group 221+ have been told it is not possible to delay the establishment of the CervicalCheck tribunal.

Despite a government climbdown over the weekend in the face of anger from campaigners like Vicky Phelan, at a meeting between health officials and the 221+ group it was made clear a delay is not possible.

"Following a meeting with the 221+ Group on Monday October 26, the Minister for Health and officials from Department of Health formally pursued the delaying of the establishment of the CervicalCheck Tribunal.

"However, as the order establishing the Tribunal had already been signed and sent for publication on Friday 23, this could not be reversed," a Department of Health spokesperson said.

"This means that, technically and formally, the date of October 27 stands as the establishment day under the Act. 

"All further actions with regard to establishing the Tribunal, including the appointment of the chairperson and members to properly constitute the Tribunal, have been paused as agreed. 

"This was communicated to the chairperson designate of the Tribunal on Monday evening. 

"As the Tribunal was officially established on October 27, the nine-month period for making claims will run from today. 

"This is the only practical impact of the establishment of the Tribunal today. 

"However, the Government will extend the length of the Tribunal by additional days to cover this period if necessary," the statement said.

Labour Leader Alan Kelly hit out at the decision to proceed in the face of the concerns raised.

"It seems that Stephen Donnelly and the Department of Health commenced the CervicalCheck Tribunal earlier today without dealing with any of the issues raised by 221+ with him over two meetings last weekend," he said on Twitter.

Stephen Teap was critical also saying: "Just when I thought progress was being made after yesterday's meeting we now hear this. two steps forwards, 10 steps back," he said.

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