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O'Brien must resign - David Cullinane TD

10 May, 2018 - by David Cullinane TD


Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane TD has said today that Tony O'Brien's appearance before the PAC leaves the public in no doubt that the director general of the HSE needs to step aside.

Deputy Cullinane said:

"The heartbreaking interview with Emma Mhic Mhathúna on morning Ireland brought home, once again, the awfulness and tragedy of the entire cervical check scandal.

"The issue of accountability for this state of affairs, however, is nowhere to be found.

"Tony O'Brien was certain of only one thing today: whoever was responsible for the actions of the HSE it was not him.

"I put it to him directly that this was a systemic failure on the part of the HSE.

"The circular issued by Cervicalcheck in July 2016 left disclosure of misdiagnosis to the discretion of individual doctors.

"It also stated that where a woman had passed away the misdiagnosis would simply be noted in the woman's file.

"This circular was out of step with HSE guidelines on open disclosure.

"The HSE allowed the breach in its own guidelines to stay in place for over two years - it only changed its approach on 30 April 2018 after the story of Vicky Phelan became public.

"This was a systemic failure on the part of the HSE.

"Tony O'Brien is the accountable officer for the HSE.

"He would not accept that the HSE is responsible for a systemic failure here in failing to report to the women affected.

"Tony O'Brien  needs to show accountability. He needs to go."

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