The cabinet will approve a statutory investigation into the CervicalCheck scandal this morning.
Yesterday, the HSE confirmed that 17 women whose test results were reviewed as part of an audit of Ireland’s national cervical screening programme have died.
Of the 208 women whose results were scrutinised, only 46 were informed about the history of their smear tests.
It means some 162 women did not know there might be a problem with their cancer check.
The figures came to light after terminally ill Vicky Phelan settled a case last week after having her own diagnosis delayed, leading to her cancer being more developed when she learned of it.
The Minister for Health has asked the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to carry out a root and branch review of the programme.
Simon Harris wants HIQA to investigate why women were not told their smear tests were being reviewed.
Speaking yesterday, Minister Harris said affected women are entitled to an independent clinical review.
He said the review would be carried out “probably with clinicians from abroad; who can advise them of their case, all of the facts around it and indeed review their case.”
“I then want that independent clinical expert panel to inform HIQA’s investigation and the work of the international peer review group,” he said.
The review will examine why women were not told their smear tests were being reviewed and the quality of the test itself.
The review will also compare the programme with international best practice.