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Head of HSE must appear before PAC to address cervical screening issues – Cullinane

30 April, 2018 - by David Cullinane TD


Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee, David Cullinane TD today called on the head of the HSE, Tony O’Brien, to appear before the PAC to address issues relating to the ongoing national cervical screen programme; namely, the outsourcing of the programme in 2008 and the 2016 circular that gave doctors the option of not informing women of misdiagnosis.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“I have written to the clerk of the Public Accounts Committee to request that Tony O’Brien appear before the PAC at the earliest possible time to answer questions regarding the outsourcing of Irish smear tests to the U.S. in 2008. 

“Concerns were raised at the time by Dr David Gibbons of the Cytology/Histology group, and by the then Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD.

“According to RTE this morning, Dr Gibbons says that Tony O'Brien dismissed those concerns.

“Tony O'Brien also needs to answer questions regarding the circular issued in July 2016 that gave doctors room to inform or not inform women of misdiagnosis. 

“There are two key issues here; one is the breakdown in screening standards and procedures and the other, the allegations of a subsequent cover-up.

“We need proper accountability in Irish public life.

“This means giving answers when they are needed.

“Tony O’Brien needs to do this as a matter of urgency.” 

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