Cervical Check apology not good enough if state continues to outsource screening service says TD
Questions remain over use on private US based labs
Recent audit report of 221 cases highlight huge discrepancies in rates of misread slides between Private and Public labs says Bríd Smith TD
The Taoiseach’s apology today to the families and members of the 221 group, while welcome, would be largely rhetorical unless the state takes responsibility for its past errors says People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith.
The TD said that the recent audit of the slides of the 221 women involved showed that there was “a large and striking difference” between the rates of miss- read slides at US based labs such and Quest and CPL compared to the one public lab, The Coombe.
“I understand the limitations in these figures, but a genuine apology should start by looking at these figures and admitting that the decision in 2008 to outsource this service to private labs in another country with little if any oversight or control was a serious error. Making cheaper costs in private labs the main criteria in awarding contacts was also unconscionable.”
The TD also highlighted the jarring contradiction of the state issuing a formal apology while it still denies responsibility for the quality of the work done in private labs.
“The best sign that we have learnt the lessons in this tragedy would be for the state to commit to repatriating the service fully to public labs and to drop their pursuit of Ruth Morrissey in the courts and concede that ultimately the State is responsible for the work done when it contacts out such a vital service for women’s health,” she said.