Approximately 1,500 women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer in the last ten years have not had their CervicalCheck audited, it has emerged this week.
The HSE has revealed that 1,482 cervical cancer cases have been audited by CervicalCheck from 2008-2018. However the number of cancer diagnoses in women is estimated at 3,000 in that time frame.
Minister for Health Simon Harris spoke in Dail Eireann last night to say that the ‘considerable number’ of cases not reviewed were not new cases of cancer or women wondering if they have cancer. They were women who had been diagnosed, but their previous CervicalChecks were not audited.
In the case of the 208 women, 17 of which have died, it was found that their CervicalChecks resulted in a false negative.
Minister Harris said progress is being made to inform all 162 women who had not yet been told their cases were part of this detailed review.
Fianna Fail Health Spokesperson Stephen Donnelly commend the bravery and determination of Vicky Phelan, whose case uncovered the CervicalCheck secret and will lead to important changes in health care in Ireland.
“Ms Phelan’s courage has laid bare a conspiracy of silence. Her courage has ensured legislation on mandatory disclosure will be introduced. It has ensured that many other women, also kept in the dark, will now be told the truth,” Deputy Donnelly said.
Minister Harris confirmed that any woman who is worried that they might have received an incorrect smear result will be able to get a free second test. The retest scheme will be announced later in the week.
Anyone with concerns about their case can all the CervicalCheck information phone line on 1800 45 45 55