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Scoping inquiry must individually assess performance of each laboratory used by CervicalCheck - Louise O'Reilly TD

8 May, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking after the publication of the terms of reference for the Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck scandal, Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said the Minister for Health must clarify that the inquiry will assess the individual performance of each laboratory used by CervicalCheck.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“I welcome the appointment of Dr Gabriel Scally as the international expert to carry out the Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck scandal, and I especially welcome the appointment of Dr Karin Denton, an international expert in women’s health, to assist with the inquiry.

“While I welcome the publication of the terms of reference for the inquiry, I have some reservations about how some aspects will work in practice. I will be asking the Minister for Health at the earliest available opportunity to clarity that the Scoping Inquiry will assess the individual performance of each laboratory used by CervicalCheck.

“It is extremely important that the inquiry analyses the performance of all laboratories involved and that there is a comparison of the laboratories who were involved in testing the cervical smear tests so we can definitively see which laboratories were performing to the standard required and see which failed.

“Furthermore, in our submission to the Minister we have explicitly requested that the government use the time available during the Scoping Inquiry to ensure that amendments are made to the legislation governing the establishment of Commissions of Inquiry to make this legislation robust and fit for purpose.

“This will allow for bespoke terms of reference which will ensure the statutory inquiry into the CervicalCheck scandal is conducted thoroughly and quickly.

“We hope that this recommendation will be taken up by the government so it can be ensured that the second statutory stage in the process takes place in pubic and generates the answers which the women themselves and society in general are seeking.

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