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Support still needed for Cervical Check cases that end up in court

16 October 2018

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD, has called on the State to provide support for women affected by the Cervical Check regardless if they go to court.

Speaking today Deputy Kelly said:

" I welcome the report of Mr. Justice Charles Meenan on an alternative system for dealing with claims arising out of Cervical Check. A tribunal system would give women and families greater privacy through the less combative route. Judge Meenan should be commended for his work on this extensive report.

"However, while the tribunal system would be a preferred route for some patients so desperately let down by our health system, some women and their partners may still choose to take the legal route open to them. The state should support women affected by Cervical Check Scandal regardless of which route of recourse they decide to take. I am calling on the Minister to detail how the State would support these women as clarity is needed.

"The Government and the Taoiseach over promised in the wake of the Cervical Check scandal when they said the state would take over the cases of all the women affected and take over the labs component of those cases if necessary. This was in order to avoid these women having to endure court appearances and go through their private health details in public. This was a commitment made by An Taoiseach on the Six One news back in May. 

"The proposed voluntary Tribunal system is not what was promised and while it may meet the needs of some of the women affected, for those who wish to take the legal route there must be clarity on how the government will support them in the claims again the labs.

"Will the State Claims Agency be utilised to assist patients with their legal cases? I asked this very same question following the commitment from the government that they would take over cases on behalf of these women. The Tribunal system being proposed is not that. The government did not answer my question then. I hope that they will answer it now."