Teap: Leo ‘under-delivered’ on the CervicalCheck crisis

Teap: Leo ‘under-delivered’ on the CervicalCheck crisis
During happier times: Stephen and Irene Teap with their two children. Irene Teap died last year after receiving incorrect cervical cancer screening results. Picture supplied by Stephen Teap

THE Taoiseach has over-promised and under-delivered in relation to the CervicalCheck crisis, according to the widower of a Cork woman who died following a false smear test result.

Carrigaline native Irene Teap was diagnosed with stage two cancer in 2015 and died on July 26 last year, leaving behind two young sons, after two false negative tests in 2010 and 2013.

Her husband Stephen has described the “constant disappointment” felt by those involved in the campaign for transparency and accountability after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar revealed that clear answers on the cervical cancer scandal could be delayed even further, months after a scoping inquiry was initially set up.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris in a press conference after the CervicalCheck scandal broke. Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris in a press conference after the CervicalCheck scandal broke. Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach said that thousands of women potentially affected will have to individually give permission before their tests can be examined. During the Dáil leader’s questions this week, Mr Varadkar also said:

“Things were not done properly in the past and we need to do them properly in the future so it was suggested that if we are to examine women’s slides again, they should be asked individually for their consent.

“One should bear in mind it is not just a matter of their slides but also of their entire medical records. It is a bigger matter than two people just looking at a slide under a microscope,” he added.

“It is probably important to engage women individually, seek their consent for the examination on an individual basis and make sure each woman is individually briefed and informed of the result of the audit.

“It is a bigger job than we might have anticipated back in May,” the Taoiseach admitted.

“Every time the Taoiseach speaks these days he over-promises and under-delivers,” said Stephen Teap. 

“Maybe if he took a breath and actually researched what he was going to say beforehand, he could actually give people accurate information.

“It’s just constant disappointment, everything he has promised has to be restructured because he clearly hasn’t properly investigated what needs to be done,” he added.

Mr Teap said he hopes that the Scally inquiry will be able to get to the bottom of the scandal, despite the obstacles already encountered.

He added that himself and families and women involved in the scandal are determined to keep it in the public eye.

“There is a worry that when it quietens down, it could get swept under the carpet,” he said. 

“At the end of the day, nothing has been answered yet, not one thing and no-one has been held accountable and that needs to change.”

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