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Taoiseach Says Redress Scheme For Cervical Check Scandal Will Be Needed


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Leo Varadkar says a redress scheme will be needed for the women affected by the Cervical Check scandal.

The Taoiseach's comments come after the Health Minister told the Dáil last night that the number of women who have developed cancer and haven't had their smear tests rechecked may be double the amount originally reported.

The ongoing scandal has prompted calls for a full Commission of Investigation - amid concerns that already announced investigations won't uncover everything.

Mr Varadkar says there's still considering the next steps.

Speaking in the Dáil, however, he told deputies: "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 also said the 1,500 cases of cervical cancer that haven't been looked at will be audited by the end of May.

Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald have both increased the pressure on HSE boss Tony O'Brien.

Deputy McDonald claimed Mr O'Brien - who is due to leave his role this summer - needs to go now.

She told the Taoiseach: "If you really were serious about reassuring the women, right across this country, you'd do the first thing that needs to happen and you'd remove that incompetent man from the position that he currently holds."

The Taoiseach says this isn't about removing one person, although highlighted that the director of Cervical Check is no longer in charge.

He argued: "This isn't about targetting one head, another head, another head after that... for me this about the women affected and their health."


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