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Vital that Scally Report recommendations are implemented - Mary Lou McDonald TD

19 September, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that it is vital that the recommendations of the Scally Report are implemented.

Speaking during Statements on the Scally Report in the Dáil this evening, Deputy McDonald said:

"The Scally Report makes for difficult reading, not least because it’s very empathetic in reflecting the views and experiences of women and the gross disrespect shown to women”.

“I want to welcome the publication of the Scally Report. I think all of us would like to know who leaked the Report, so the Minister might shed some light on that.

“I want to say that screening saves lives and in the course of this debacle and debate, and everything that might follow and flow from it. Let’s be very clear - to any woman listening or who is concerned I want to say: Have your smears. It may well save your life. It has saved others.

“It is vital that the Report’s recommendations are now implemented and I welcome the Minister for Health’s commitment to doing so. We look forward to working with him in that regard.

“The Report makes for difficult reading, not least because it’s very empathetic in reflecting the views and experiences of women and the gross disrespect shown to women.

“To make a finding of institutional misogyny is a damning reflection on the health system and perhaps in and of itself begs for further investigation.

“The default position of the State apparatus - when it became clear that problems had arisen - in the screening system was to deny, to obfuscate and to leave women in the dark. 

“I want to commend Vicky Phelan, Emma Mhic Mhathúna, Ruth Morrissey, Lorraine Walsh and Stephen Teap. 

“They are the victims, but more than that they are actually inspirations for all of us.

“Dr. Scally has made the case - open and shut - for the necessity for mandatory open disclosure. That debate is over and the matter has been put to bed.

“He does of course also make positive soundings - and we must welcome them - in terms of quality assurance.

“He also raises worrying insights into quality assurance including the theme in the report of cost efficiency outstripping other considerations.

“I’m struck by the fact that the contract between the screening service and the laboratories allowed for a number of mechanisms where difficulties arose, including a HIQA type investigation on quality matters that never happened.

“Ultimately, open disclosure and treating women as autonomous adult individuals entitled to our medical information is an absolute must, but so too is robust quality assurance and there are many questions to answer in that regard. I hope the Minister has a very keen eye to that and may consider a HIQA type intervention”.

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