Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Simon Harris to organise free repeat smear tests after cervical cancer controversy

Simon Harris to organise free repeat smear tests after cervical cancer controversy

This comes as Vicky Phelan claimed that three Irish women whose smear test results had to be audited have died.

She said her heart goes out to other women who are also victims of misdiagnosis and are now being alerted to an internal report on their medical case.

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.

Harris took to Twitter to confirm the repeat tests.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now reviewing cases from hundreds of women in Ireland who may have been wrongly given negative results by the national cervical cancer screening programme.

It follows days of uncertainty, over what an unpublished 2014 HSE audit of cervical checks discovered.

She revealed that Simon Harris had called her personally to apologise for the health service letting her down.

Ms Phelan spoke movingly of the impact the dramatic revelations of the last week and her powerful speech outside the High Court has had on her family.

She settled her High Court action against a USA laboratory for €2.5m this week.

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Earlier on Saturday, Mr Harris's Department of Health confirmed that it had advised CervicalCheck to arrange for additional smear tests for women whose Global Positioning System say they need them - at the cost of the State.

Professor Shepherd said in his opinion this delay was "most irregular" and absolutely should not happen.

In July of that year Ms Phelan was determined to have cervical cancer and experienced radical chemo-radiotherapy.

She told the HSE of her intention to resign saying she was sorry that recent events caused distress and worry to women. "This will further reduce the risk of cervical cancer and improve identification of the risk of cervical cell abnormalities", the charity said.

The statement continued: "CervicalCheck has detected and treated over 50,000 pre-cancerous changes in women, reducing their risk of cervical cancer by more than 90%".

"It has helped reduce the cervical cancer rate nationally at a rate of 7% per year".

Asked if any of the women had died, she said: "This is not information kept by CervicalCheck".

"A cancer diagnosis is one of the most, if not the most, hard experiences a person and their family can deal with".

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