Women in Donegal may have received incorrect smear results

29 April, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Joshua Bennett
  • Cancer patient settlement €2.5M by High Court

Minister Harris and the HSE director general, Tony O'Brien, have agreed that an worldwide peer review of CervicalCheck needs to take place to ensure ongoing confidence in it.

The National Association of General Practitioners has welcomed Harris' move on re-tests, saying "it is extremely important that this is available for any patient who is anxious and wants to have repeat test for reassurance".

Ms Phelan, of Carrigeen, Annacotty, Co Limerick along with her husband Jim Phelan has sued the Health Service Executive and Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas, over a smear test taken under the National Cervical Screening Programme CervicalCheck and analysed in the U.S. laboratory.

A Donegal solicitor believes there are a number of women in Donegal who have been told their smear tests were clear of any abnormalities when in fact this may not be the case.

'These arrangements will be confirmed next week'.

Minister Harris had asked the management of the CervicalCheck programme to reflect on their position.

Jolene McElhinney of McElhinney and Associates says she is handling the cases of two women in Donegal in very similar situations to that of Limerick woman, Vicky Phelan.


Mrs Phelan was given just six months to live recently.

Earlier this week, she settled her High Court action against a United States laboratory for €2.5 million.

The HSE also expressed confidence in that team to address current concerns and that the review "will determine any learnings and opportunities for improvement within the CervicalCheck Programme". On Saturday, RTE News reported that some of these 206 women had since passed away.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 but not informed until 2017 that her 2011 smear test showed abnormalities, despite her smear being audited three years earlier.

'What I read today of letters going backwards and forwards: Whether to tell a woman? That is not good enough, that's not on and that's why I have sent in a team myself this evening to take charge of this'.

It is available daily from 9am to 5pm on 1800 45 45 55.

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