The minister for health Simon Harris has published the first findings of the Scally Inquiry, an investigation into the CervicalCheck Screening programme scandals in Ireland.
The findings are contained in two reports provided by Dr Gabriel Scally which the minister has welcomed openly, pleased to accept any recommendations that may come from the reports.
In total there are six important recommendations to be set in place to support women and improve the information available to users of the CervicalCheck service.
This includes an immediate ex-gratia payment of €2,000 to each woman involved in the scandals and to the next of kin of the deceased, more comprehensive guides for the CervicalCheck screening programme online and timely information and response to those who have used this service.
“Following the approval of government, I am making arrangements for the ex-gratia payment as recommended by Dr Scally. This payment relates to addressing any financial obstacles women might encounter in having their voices heard as part of his work.”
The minister has also requested Dr Scally to identify plans that he could put in place as part of his inquiry to undertake the process of structured conversations.
Although it must be mentioned that the Irish programme’s information for those who take part in the screening services is up to scale when compared to other countries, more needs to be done to help the women of Ireland.
“Dr Scally makes a number of important recommendations to improve the information provided to women, including strengthening the statements on the limitations of screening. I will immediately ask the HSE to implement the four recommendations related to this,” commented Mr Harris.
“When we set up this inquiry I was very clear about the need to examine the facts and get answers quickly for Irish women, while also identifying issues that may merit a further full statutory investigation.”
The minister is pleased with the progress made so far and hopes these changes and recommendations will reassure the minds of all women when using such facilities again.
“Dr Scally has assured me that he will continue to provide reports as they are completed so that we can continue to provide answers as soon as they are established.”
Both reports are available on the Department of Health website: https://health.gov.ie/blog/publications/scoping-inquiry-into-the-cervicalcheck-screening-programme/