New figures this afternoon have revealed more on the stark situation of the CervicalCheck programme controversy.
The HSE has confirmed that 208 women had their negative tests subject to review in the CervicalCheck error case. Out of that 208, 162 were not told that their cases were under review.
The number of women who have since died has risen to 17, but their cause of deaths are unknown.
Vicky Phelan, whose High Court case brought the CervicalCheck controversy to media attention, said she is very upset by today’s revelations.
She told the Ray D’Arcy show: “It’s bad enough that I knew there were 3. Now there’s 17. So, I’m quite upset today actually, to be honest. I think it’s disgraceful…I could be another one of those women.
“If I had died I would be on that list. Thankfully, I didn’t and I’m here to tell the tale and you know, by God, am I going to take these guys on. I mean, I think it’s disgraceful what they’re doing and what they’ve done to women of Ireland.”
Ms Phelan, who has terminal cancer following her missed diagnosis, is calling for further investigation for all families involved. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed there will be an inquiry to establish the facts and why ‘appalling communication failures’ happened.
Mr Varadkar stressed the importance of women continuing to avail of smear tests.
“Cancer screening does work. The number of women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer has gone down by more than a third because of the HPV vaccine and because of the screening,” he said.
A HSE CervicalCheck Freephone line has been opened for any woman concerned about her results. More information is available at www.cervicalcheck.ie
CervicalCheck understands that some of our clients may be anxious about their cervical screening. Anyone with concerns can call us on Freephone 1800 45 45 55, this line is open Monday to Sunday 9am to 6pm, to request a call back to discuss your concerns. pic.twitter.com/2s9vUNHAzI
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) April 27, 2018