In the Dáil, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has stated that those impacted by the CervicalCheck scandal will be compensated through a redress scheme. Early estimations are that the cost of providing this misdiagnosis compensation s could be in excess of €500m.
Mr Varadkar made this statement as new reports point to the fact that the initial estimate that the amount of misdiagnosis cases is probably as high as 3,000 and not the 1,500 it was at first thought to be. If this os the case then it is possible that the number of individuals given the wrong results may be much higher that the 208, of whom 17 have now passed away, first reported when the controversy became public knowledge.
During Leader’s Questions in the Dáil this week the Taoiseach, Mr Varadkar remarked: “We will need a scheme of redress for women whose cancer was missed and should have been detected beyond normal error and for women where there was a breach of duty to inform them of the audit results”.
He went on to say: “Once again, I want to say how deeply concerned and upset I and the whole Government are at the situation with which we are now grappling.”
The Taoiseach added that if anyone that women wished to have a repeat smear or review of their original test, the State will meet that cost, as well as the family doctor appointment fee.
The CervicalCheck Misdiagnosis controversy became public folowing the compensation action taken by Mrs Vicky Phelan, a terminally ill mother of two. Mrs Phelan was advised, after a smear test in 2011 that she showed no evidence of cervical cancer. However, an audit the occurred during 2014 showed that the firstresults of the smear test were actually wrong. Regardless of this she was not advised that she had contracted cervical cancer until 2017. Sadly, in early 2018 she was advised that her illness was now terminal and was given less than one year to live.
A 43-year-old mother from Co Limerick, Ms Phelan, was awarded a €2.5m cervical cancer compensation settlement in the High Court last week.