Kerry woman Emma Mhic Mhathúna has successfully settled her case against the HSE and US laboratory used by CervicalCheck for €7.5million.
The 37-year-old mother of five is terminally ill with cervical cancer as a result of incorrect smear test results in 2013. The case was settled before a full hearing which was planned in the High Court today.
Ms Mhic Mhathúna is due two letters of apology from the HSE and Quest over failings to inform her of the CervicalCheck audit. Quest Diagnostics admitted misreading two of Ms Mhic Mhathúna cervical smear tests in 2010 and 2013.
Speaking outside the High Court today, Ms Mhic Mhathúna said today’s decision was important for all women.
She said: “The higher the money, and the more apologies they have to give, the more they’re going to have to make changes because nobody likes parting with money. That’s another reason why it went so high because eventually they’ll get fed up handing out high amounts of money and it’ll just be easier to do the smear test properly in the first place.
“It would make sense to check, check and re-check the smear test rather than handing out a big cheque.”
“I feel great,” Ms Mhic Mhathúna said, wearing a bright red gown, which was chosen by her children to make a statement.
“They’re delighted, they’re very proud of me and they know when I mean business.”
Emma said the dress demonstrated the power of standing up for yourself: “We’re not going to accept cheap smear tests being done. This is people’s lives we are talking about.”
Emma is one of 209 women in Ireland who were not informed that their smear rests were audited after giving incorrect results. The HSE’s Community Health Organisations are working to contact the women and liaise with them on necessary supports.