State will pay for repeat smear tests for women, Health Minister confirms

Cancer patient settlement €2.5M by High Court

She was awarded €2.5m in the High Court this week.

Vicky, 43, from Annacotty, was diagnosed with cancer three years after her smear test results of 2011 were incorrectly reported as being clear of any abnormalities.

Minister Harris and the HSE director general, Tony O'Brien, have agreed that an worldwide peer review of CervicalCheck needs to take place to ensure ongoing confidence in it.

Vicky Phelan, who has terminal cancer, yesterday settled her case against the USA lab that tested her smear sample back in 2011. In January this year she was offered six to a year to live.

In July of that year Ms Phelan was determined to have cervical cancer and experienced radical chemo-radiotherapy.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer around the same time, but she only found out about that review past year.

On Thursday the HSE said that since 2008, a total 1,482 cases of cervical cancer have been notified to the CervicalCheck programme.

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Harris took to Twitter on Saturday to share the news of the repeat tests on offer, which, according to him, will be paid for by the State.

206 women developed the illness after having a misdiagnosed smear and should have had further medical investigations.

Ms Phelan spoke movingly of the impact the dramatic revelations of the last week and her powerful speech outside the High Court has had on her family.

It's understood that if these women had been referred onwards, the cancer could have been prevented or treated earlier.

The issue followed on from one woman's case - Vicky Phelan - being highlighted in court this week.

"It has helped reduce the cervical cancer rate nationally at a rate of 7% per year".

Prof Shepherd was also asked about correspondence between Cervical Check and doctors treating Ms Phelan and other women which appear to show a difference of opinion about who should inform the patients of the mistakes that had been uncovered. "This will further reduce the risk of cervical cancer and improve identification of the risk of cervical cell abnormalities", the charity said.

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