O’Reilly welcomes General Scheme of Bill to establish CervicalCheck Tribunal
Speaking this afternoon, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has welcomed the General Scheme of Bill to establish the CervicalCheck Tribunal but cautions that the Bill must allow those who have previously received an award from a court settlement to give evidence to the Tribunal.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“I welcome the publication of the General Scheme of Bill to establish the CervicalCheck Tribunal, it marks the next necessary step in the investigation of the CervicalCheck scandal.
“The Tribunal shall hear and determine all issues of negligence, breach of duty, breach of statutory duty and breach of contract and other matters.
“It will offer the women affected the opportunity to give full evidence of their story and determine claims. In the case where a woman has unfortunately passed away, it will offer an immediate family member the opportunity to give evidence and also determine a claim for damages.
“I am glad that those affected will be offered the opportunity to have their hearing in public or in private, this is extremely important for those women who want people to know and see how they were treated first hand.
“As the CervicalCheck scandal broke last year, one of the most frustrating aspects was the failure of the HSE, CervicalCheck, and the Department of Health to release all documentation; therefore, it is significant that the Tribunal will have powers to compel witnesses and documentation.
“There are some areas of consideration though, such as the denial of those who have previously received an award from a court settlement to give evidence to the Tribunal. While we understand that a second claim cannot be made, we feel that it is important that all of those affected can give evidence to the Tribunal to help it in its deliberations.
“On the whole, Sinn Féin welcome the publication of the general scheme of this Bill to establish the CervicalCheck Tribunal and we will work constructively to ensure that it passes through the Dáil and Seanad swiftly.”