Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Independent Expert Panel Review into Cervical Screening: Discussion

Dr. Tony Holohan:

I note what the Deputy said. I am aware that some people have expressed no confidence. I want to be clear that we, as the Department, in terms of how we received this report, how we have briefed Government, how we have briefed the Minister and how we have articulated in public, express full confidence in the findings and recommendations in the report and the processes. I want to be clear about that.

The Deputy referred to some of the evidence that was offered to the committee last night. We are aware of that and, of course, we will reflect on it. I want to make clear that we see as an organisation the role of patient representatives involving them in committees and processes as we do deliberately as a very important one that enhances all of the work and did so in this case. I pay tribute to the individuals who appeared last night and the other patients who have played an important role in ensuring that we have made progress on the implementation of as many recommendations as we have.

I do not wish to come across in any sense as suggesting that we are complacent or that we do not think that there is further work to be done. Even when we get to the point of full implementation of the recommendations from the Scally report, there will still be further work to be done and oversight needed to ensure that we continue to achieve progress in terms of incidence of mortality around cervical cancer. I want to be absolutely clear and unequivocal about that.