Published: Sun, April 29, 2018
Medical | By Mark Scott

Launch of cervical screening programme helpline hit by technical glitch

Launch of cervical screening programme helpline hit by technical glitch

Vicky Phelan, who has terminal cancer, yesterday settled her case against the United States lab that tested her smear sample back in 2011.

Harris took to Twitter on Saturday to share the news of the repeat tests on offer, which, according to him, will be paid for by the State.

A 43-year-old woman who was given incorrect test results and is now terminally ill with cervical cancer has settled her High Court action against a U.S. laboratory for €2.5m.

Responding to the controversy, the Irish Cancer Society extended its sincerest sympathies to Ms Phelan and her family.

The HSE has confirmed that 1,482 cases of cervical cancer were notified to Cervical Check since it started the national programme 10 years ago.

The aim is to ensure that by early next week the 206 women who developed cancer after getting the wrong test result will be aware of any CervicalCheck reports into their case.

The court was told that CervicalCheck informed Ms Phelan's consultant about the mistake in 2016 but there was a further delay until 2017 before she was told.

Asked if any of the women had died, she said: "This is not information kept by CervicalCheck". Ms Phelan had a false negative smear test result in 2011 but developed symptoms in 2014 and was diagnosed with cancer.

Those figures were released after Vicky Phelan's case this week highlighted the issue.

In January, she was given between six and twelve months to live and she, along with her husband Jim, sued the lab and the HSE.

It was further claimed she was deprived of the opportunity of timely and effective investigation and management of her condition and deprived of the opportunity of treatment at a time when her disease was amenable to curative treatment.

It is yet another crisis to emerge under the tenure of Mr Harris amid concerns of how it was allowed to escalate with potentially long-term implications for the faith women have in the service, which is aimed at preventing cervical cancer.

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

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