Wednesday 20 November 2019
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Irish PM apologises to women failed by cancer screening

DUBLIN: Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday issued a formal state apology to women whose cervical cancer diagnoses were delayed by failures in a national screening programme. On behalf of the state, I apologise to the women and their loved ones who suffered from a litany of failures in how cervical screening in our country operated over many years, Varadkar said in parliament. We say sorry to those whose lives were shattered, we say sorry to those whose lives were destroyed and to those whose lives could have been different. An audit of smears from around 1,500 cervical cancer patients diagnosed from 2008 to 2018 found previous screening tests from approximately 200 women could have provided earlier detection. The screening test could have provided a different result or a warning of increased risk or evidence of developing cancer, Ireland s Cervical Check programme said in a statement in May 2018. The scandal came to light following the case of Vicky Phelan -- a cancer patient whose 2014 diagnosis was delayed by an inaccurate smear reading in 2011.


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