Problems with the tribunal into the CervicalCheck scandal before it’s even started are “extremely disappointing”, according to campaigner Vicky Phelan.
s Phelan, along with other members of the 221 Plus cancer support group, met with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly yesterday after she had previously accused him of ignoring them.
Several issues they had previously brought up in the Dáil are still proving to be a problem now, she said on Newstalk Breakfast.
“One of the issues was that recurrence is a huge issue for women with this cancer,” she said. “Particularly because if the cancer comes back, there’s no other way out of it – that’s fatal.”
“There has to be some inclusion in the tribunal legislation to allow for that.”
The Kilkenny woman said that many victims will be barred due to the statute of limitations on her original case ending in May of this year.
“It’s through no fault of their own that these people are statute barred, it’s the government who have delayed establishing the tribunal,” she said. “So that’s one issue that we need to stress in writing.”
She added that many of the women in the 221 Plus group would have received their diagnosis back in 2017. If the cancer were to come back, it would often take around two to three years to recur – meaning now.
As such, there is an additional time pressure surrounding this tribunal to ensure the voices of those affected are heard.
“When it comes back, you’re going to end up like me, and like Ruth, and like Emily – you are going to die. There’s no cure for this,” she said.
On a final note, she accepted Mr Donnelly’s apology but said that 221 Plus do not intend to engage with the tribunal if they do not take their issues onboard.
It remains unclear whether the tribunal will still start as originally intended this Tuesday, in light of recent events.
Source: Irish News