Westmeath County Council pledges support to Standing4Women campaign

At a recent meeting of Westmeath County Council held within Athlone Council Chamber, elected representatives unanimously supported a motion from Cllr. Michael O’Brien noting the recent cervical check scandal, that the local authority call upon the Minister for Health and An Taoiseach to acknowledge, support and respond in detail to the demands of the Standing4Women campaign.

These include, legislation and policy on mandatory open disclosure independent of the patient safety bill, provision of a start and end date and full disclosure on the 1800 smears yet to be audited and a breakdown of the new packages being negotiated with laboratories carrying out smear slide analysis including mandatory site audits.

“This is a time of reflection when we look back on the past year, the highs and lows, and look to the future. For me, one of the lowest points for this country was the cervical check scandal, it was a horrendous situation that angered and saddened the nation and it should never be let happen again. It’s bad enough receiving a cancer diagnoses, but for those woman who were misdiagnosed, it must have been horrific to be let down so badly by the state.

“I think this scandal really resonated with the public because so many families are affected by cancer. I went to school with one of the victims of the cervical check misdiagnoses. My heart goes out to all the families affected and think we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Vicky Phelan, the late Emma Mhic Mhathuna, and others who, during their own illnesses, fought so bravely for the rights of victims and brought the issue to public prominence.

“This motion has been passed in many county and city councils throughout the country, so I think that it is the least that we can do to show our solidarity to all those affected by this scandal” Cllr. O’Brien emphasised.

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