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Health Minister must ensure full disclosure on North East cancer reviews – Ó Caoláin

20 May, 2008


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said there must be full disclosure of all the facts relating to the reviews of thousands of chest x-rays and CT scans in the North East HSE region. The Cavan/Monaghan TD said he had been contacted by people who are "living in fear and trepidation as they face a wait of two months for the result of their reviews".

Deputy Ó Caoláin has secured a Dáil adjournment debate on the issue this evening (Tuesday). He said the Minister for Health and Children must accept responsibility.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney must ensure that complete and comprehensive information is provided, including by way of a public inquiry if necessary, on the systems failures that have led to this terrible situation for thousands of people in Counties Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath.

"The HSE North East has issued letters to almost 4,600 patients advising them that chest x-rays and CT scans are being reviewed. I have been contacted by people who are now living in fear and trepidation as they face a wait of two months for the result of their reviews. From what has been revealed so far the situation is so serious that misdiagnosis may have led to deaths in some cases. We need an explanation for the delay in acting on this matter after it first came to the notice of the HSE.

"Coming in the wake of previous cancer diagnosis reviews, all of this highlights the failure of successive Ministers, the Department and the HSE to ensure the delivery of the best care for all patients at all locations where cancer services are provided." ENDS

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