ACCOUNTABILITY for the Cervical Check scandal cannot stop with the resignation of HSE chief Tony O’Brien, according to Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath.
The Cork South-Central TD has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris to answer further questions on the matter. It comes as Mr Varadkar and Mr Harris unveiled a suite of measures to support the 209 women and their families who have been impacted by the controversy.
The measures include a discretionary medical card for each woman affected, or their next of kin in cases where the woman has died, as well as the provision of primary care supports such as counselling and social supports including travel costs. Out-of-pocket medical costs incurred, including medicines, will also be paid for.
Mr McGrath said that questions remain, despite the resignation of Tony O’Brien.
“Accountability doesn’t end there,” Mr McGrath said.
“We also need to know who else knew within the HSE, within the Department of Health and indeed within political circles as well.”
Mr Varadkar was Minister for Health from 2014 to 2016 and Mr McGrath said he and the current minister still have questions to answer.
“We don’t have any evidence that they were aware of this all along but questions do need to be answered as to why they weren’t told, if they weren’t, by their own department.
“I think what we can legitimately criticise them for is the fact they have failed to get to grips with this crisis in the last two weeks or so. Very basic questions remain unanswered,” he said.
Mr McGrath said support for families is now the priority.
“The issue has a long way to run yet but the absolute priority has to be looking after the women who find themselves in a devastating situation with a cancer diagnosis and indeed those who have been bereaved as well,” he said.