Calls on Minister to substantially amend the proposed Act
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has described the CervicalCheck Tribunal as another example of the states continued failing of the women affected.
Noting that to date only five women had lodged cases with the Tribunal some three years after the Dáil passed the original Act, the TD said: “Simply extending the deadline as this government amendment does will not address the weakness and problems in the original Act. Women are been failed here again and there’s a reason why so few are going to the Tribunal.”
Among the reasons the TD cited for the failure of the Tribunal to date include the lack of any clause to allow victims to resubmit cases where there was a recurrence of their cancer, and the fact that the tribunal is limited to women whose slides where examined by the RCOG review or were part of the 221 group.
Bríd Smith TD said: “Women have no real guarantee that the Tribunal will be any quicker or less adversarial than the courts.”
The TD called on Minister Donnelly to substantially amend the Act and noted that her own amendments had been ruled out of order on the grounds of cost.
She said: “The fear women have is that this Tribunal is a continuation of a policy of secrecy and trying to hide the full facts of the CervicalCheck scandal. If we are serious about the state apology to these women we need a Tribunal that is fit for purpose and we need the state to accept that the entire policy of contracting out these services to private labs is at the heart of the issue.”