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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has said she is deeply concerned that two weeks after their cases were identified, no action has yet been taken in relation to the 1,631 women who developed cervical cancers and were not included in the CervicalCheck audit.

Deputy Shortall said:

“I have been raising the position of the 1,631 cases of women diagnosed with cervical cancer who have not been audited by CervicalCheck. It is a matter of concern that in a briefing today with senior department of health officials, it was revealed that these women have still not been contacted.

“It’s now exactly two weeks since the Minister for Health dropped a bombshell in the Dáil by revealing this new cohort of women who had not previously been disclosed.

“I now understand that approximately one in five of these 1,631 women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer had a history of cervical screening. That’s 326 women who may be affected by this scandal. If the proportion of women in this cohort who have received false negatives is the same as those already audited by CervicalCheck, this means that around 45 women may today be in a position of having had an earlier smear misread.

“It’s not good enough for this group of women to be kept in the dark indefinitely. The Minister needs to instruct officials to contact them as a matter of urgency and to expedite audits on their files. I wrote to the Minister for Health last Friday about one particular case and I queried what the approach was to this group of women generally. I am still awaiting his reply.”

ENDS 15 May 2018

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