HSE COO John Connaghan has been appointed interim director general of the executive

The Taoiseach says the health service should be about saving lives, and not saving face.

Leo Varadkar was speaking after this morning's cabinet meeting which discussed the Cervical Check scandal.

The meeting saw Ministers agreeing a package of supports for the women affected and their families.

It will include providing discretionary medical cards, provision of counselling and covering the cost of drugs including experimental treatments.

The Health Minister Simon Harris said the women will be provided with whatever resources are needed.

Former Deputy Director General and Chief Operating Officer of the HSE John Connaghan will also be appointed interim director general of the executive this evening.

At a special press conference in the scandal this afternoon, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar again apologised to all the women who have been affected.

"While nobody had a diagnosis of cancer withheld from them, important information about their health was not shared - in fact it was concealed, and that's totally unacceptable," he said.

"We are determined to get to the bottom of this, and restore your faith in a service which should be about saving lives, and never about saving face."