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Vicky Phelan warns Simon Harris there will be a 'parade of women' going to court

Cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan is calling on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to put more resources into the service otherwise “there will be a parade of women” going to court, she warned.

More resources are needed for smear testing and pathologists to speed up results she told Newstalk Breakfast.

Delays of five months are not acceptable especially for women with symptoms who cannot access a colposcopy or further treatment until they receive smear results, she said.

Ms Phelan welcome comments by the Taoiseach on Monday when he said that a Tribunal into the CervicalCheck controversy will be held in the first half of this year.

Previously the Minister for Health had said it would be “late 2019” when the Tribunal would go ahead. This would be too late for many women, claimed Ms Phelan.

She warned that many women who did not want to go public with their situation were now so annoyed that they were prepared to go to court.

“This year there will be a parade of women going to court if something is not done.”

It was sad that women had to shout to be heard on this necessary service, she added.

The reality was that at least 50 more cases will be “coming down the line” this year.

“Resources need to be added.”

Ms Phelan said that if the Attorney General was under pressure then every assistance should be given to ensure that the legislation required to set up a tribunal goes through as swiftly as possible.