€2.5m settlement for terminally-ill woman whose cancer was missed

Lynn Cook
April 29, 2018

Minister for Health Simon Harris has now established a review of the process, to establish how the scandal was allowed to unfold.

A smear test is undertaken to detect any abnormality which would be indicative that there is something untoward happening.

The Department of Health said in a statement this evening: "For any woman who has had a CervicalCheck smear test and where her GP feels she should have a further test as part of her reassurance, the Minister has asked CervicalCheck to make the necessary arrangements, including payment provision".

Ms Phelan, of Carrigeen, Annacotty, Co Limerick along with her husband Jim Phelan has sued the Health Service Executive and Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas, over a smear test taken under the National Cervical Screening Programme CervicalCheck and analysed in the United States laboratory.

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On Friday, it emerged that Minister Harris had sent in his own hand-picked team to take over CervicalCheck.

"For Ms Phelan's misdiagnosis to be known for nearly three years is unacceptable", she said.

She settled her High Court action against a U.S. laboratory for €2.5m on Wednesday. Limerick, was given less than a year to live in January. On Saturday, RTE News reported that some of these 206 women had since passed away.

"The SIMT has sought a full review from the CervicalCheck programme of 206 cases whose cytology reviews suggested a different result from the original and that would have recommended an investigation to occur at an earlier stage", the HSE said in its statement today.

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He said from his review of the records of this case, Ms Phelan's test was "one of a number of smears that had been reviewed and found to be wanting". Who should tell the woman?

Last night, Mr Harris said that a senior medical team would investigate all patient files and ensure that all women who were patients were informed of their review.

A helpline has also been set up for women looking for more information on smear tests.

The glitch was soon fixed and is now contactable on 1800 45 45 55.

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