Tony O'Brien resigns over cervical smear services scandal

HSE director general stepping down       Tony O'Brien under pressure over CervicalCheck

CPL said it is one of two U.S., and two Irish laboratories, that have provided Pap smear testing for the Irish cervical screening program since 2008.

On Thursday, a woman from County Kerry said she would have to explain to her children that she is going to die after she was given a clear smear test in 2013 but was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016.

He emphasised his fullest support for Minister Harris in this regard.

The political crisis has already seen the boss of Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) Tony O'Brien quit.

The healthcare controversy was triggered by the case of Vicky Phelan, a terminally ill mother whose legal battle cast light on the issue.

CPL says the results of cervical cancer screens conducted by its lab and the three others are well above the accepted accuracy rate for the type of screening specified by the HSE and have been continuously monitored and repeatedly endorsed by Irish health authorities and U.S. agencies.

Last month, Ms Phelan, a 43-year-old mother of two from Co Limerick, settled a High Court action for 2.5 million euro after being incorrectly told in 2011 that her smear test had given a negative result for cancer.

"I don't want any obstacle to the truth coming out here, I think that's absolutely essential".

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A 30-year veteran of both the public and private sector, Connaghan previously worked for the NHS in Scotland from 2006, an organisation he also subsequently served as interim director general.

"People rightly want accountability - who knew what, where and when?"

At the Dail's PAC, Mr O'Brien was asked if he gad heard the RTE Morning Ireland radio interview with Emma Mhic Mhathna, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The Cabinet on Friday agreed a support package for the women caught up in the controversy.

Also covered will be the cost of medicines, including experimental drugs as well as practical expenses, such as travel costs and childcare.

It has emerged that at least 208 women diagnosed with cancer should have received earlier intervention. He was warned of a risk that the affected women, many of whom were not told of their audit results, would alert media.

Mr O'Brien told the committee that he rejects Mr Donnelly's call to step down from his position as he would like to continue in his in role in order to address the issues of concern.

According to the latest HSE statement on the scandal, released yesterday, the audit revealed 209 women whose screening test 'could have provided a different result'.

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