Cervical Check Scandal: Varadkar Says Redress Scheme Needed
The Taoiseach says there needs to be a redress scheme for the women affected by the Cervical Check scandal.
Leo Varadkar also asked for time and space for the Government to consider how best to launch an inquiry into the false negatives.
It comes after Health Minister Simon Harris told the Dáil that the number of women who have developed cancer and haven't had their smear tests rechecked may be double the amount originally reported.
There's been calls from the oppositions for a full Commission of Investigation into what happened, amid concerns HIQA's inquiries won't uncover everything.
Alan Kelly says there needs to be a Commission of Investigation into CervicalCheck. HIQA don’t have the powers needed to get answers pic.twitter.com/WKZKMt4rzf— Sean Defoe (@SeanDefoe) May 2, 2018
The Taoiseach says there's still considering that - but they have decided a few things.
Speaking in the Dáil, he said:"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."
Micheál Martin and Mary Lou McDonald, meanwhile, both piled pressure on HSE boss Tony O'Brien - with the Sinn Féin leader saying he needs to go.
She claimed: "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."
However, the Taoiseach says this isn't about removing one person, although highlighted that the director of CervicalCheck is no longer in charge.
He added: "This isn't about targetting one head, another head, another head after that... for me this about the women affected and their health."
Leo Varadkar also said the 1,500 cases of cervical cancer that haven't been looked at will be audited by the end of May.
Micheál Martin says the government has had enough time to get on top of the issue at this stage. Calls for 'calm, competent authority'— Sean Defoe (@SeanDefoe) May 2, 2018