Up to 1500 women could have been affected by CervicalCheck scandal

Up to 1500 women could have been affected by CervicalCheck scandal

Chair of the HSE Serious Incident Management Team Patrick Lynch said the women had a right to know about their cases.

The society completed their statement by thanking Vicky Phelan for the role she played in unravelling the major health scandal.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) confirmed yesterday, Monday April 30 that 162 women, including 17 who have died, were not informed of a delay in their cervical cancer diagnosis.

The legal case led to confirmation from the HSE that the CervicalCheck programme had been notified of 1,482 cases of women who had developed cervical cancer since 2008.

The Attorney General has been asked to see if any cases similar to Vicky Phelan's are being taken so they can be settled without going to the courts.

It means some 162 women did not know there might be a problem with their cancer check.

The Texas-based lab which distributes CervicalCheck's smear test results will pay the settlement.

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A suggested quote for the Minister within the memo stated: 'I acknowledge the severe distress that this issue has caused to the patient involved, and to her family.

The memo comes just a day after it was revealed that 17 women who were affected by the smear test blunder had died.

A helpline set up for people who have concerns has received 6,000 calls.

Mr Harris said he did not have "specific figures" but agreed with Fianna Fáil's Stephen Donnelly that it could be in the region of 1,500. He is expected to discuss this issue with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the coming days. The women in the 208 cases should have been referred for full diagnostic testing.

Outlining the need for an investigation, Mr Harris said: "Given the gravity of the situation, and the impact it has had on Vicky Phelan and potentially a number of other women, I think it is vital that we ensure that we put in place a process that will allow all of us - patients, doctors and policy makers - to understand exactly what happened, and what steps we need to rectify the situation". "The Irish Cancer Society echoes Vicky's calls to continue availing of cervical cancer screening".

Ms Phelan said she was contacted by the Taoiseach's press adviser on Tuesday evening asking to arrange a private meeting."I said yes, I would meet him in principle, but I'm trying to concentrate on my treatment which I have to go to this week and said that I would get back to him", she said.

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