Ireland's leader apologizes for cervical cancer scandal

Ireland's leader apologizes for cervical cancer scandal

The Director General (DG) of the HSE, Tony O'Brien, wishes to announce this evening (Thursday 10 May 2018) his intention to step down from his position as DG with effect from close of business tomorrow (Friday 11 May).

Tony O'Brien is appearing before an Oireachtas committee where he's been accused of dancing on the head of a pin to avoid resigning.

Mr O'Brien said that he looks forward to engaging with Dr Gabriel Scally, who is heading up the scoping inquiry into the controversy, and will cooperate fully with him.

He emphasised that he remains deeply committed to health reform in Ireland and in particular the full implementation of the Slainte Care Report.

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It comes as Global Positioning System admit they're seriously concerned at the undermining of the Cervical Check programme, and that it could result in fewer women getting smear tests.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, thanked Mr O'Brien for his "many years of dedicated public service".

"It is regrettable that it ultimately took terminally ill women taking to the national airwaves to demand that Mr O'Brien be held to account in order to secure his resignation", she said in a statement. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer three years later.

It emerged this month that an internal audit had found potential errors in the smear tests of 209 women but those findings weren't shared with the patients, prompting a wave of public anger.

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