Health Care

Women in Donegal may have received incorrect smear results

WATCH Terminally-ill Limerick woman agrees €2.5m settlement over cancer misdiagnoses

Ms. Phelan was diagnosed with cancer three years after her smear test results of 2011 were incorrectly reported as clear of abnormalities.

Ms. Phelan (43), was given incorrect test results and is now terminally ill with cervical cancer. After a number of tests, she was told she had between six and 12 months to live. Mr Justice Kevin Cross portrayed Ms Phelan as the most great witness he had ever experienced.

In her High Court activity, which started a week ago, her legal advisors said if the cancerous cells had been recognized in 2011 she would have had a straightforward strategy and would have a 90% shot of survival.

The Health Service Executive demanded specific and detailed proof that Vicky Phelan had suffered any loss, inconvenience or harm as a result of the botched handling of her misread smear test, according to court documents seen by RTÉ's This Week programme.

This morning the court was told the case had now settled and the case against the HSE could be struck out with no order.

Ms Phelan was awarded €2.5 million in a settlement against the United States lab during the week, over a false negative smear test in 2011.

A portion of the monies will be paid into court and be held for the couple's two children who are now aged seven and 12.

An audit of the files of 1,452 cervical cancer patients by CervicalCheck, Ireland's screening programme, found 206 cases of women who were given negative results from smear tests, suggesting they did not have cancer.

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"I said to him basically look, what has happened to me is very bad".

Harris also said that he hoped the HSE or the State would not defend any other cases that may be similar to the Vicky Phelan case, adding that he plans to work with the Government to avoid it.

He said documents relating to an audit seemed "confusing" and there was no direct advice as to how it should be dealt with.

THE MOTHER OF TWO appeared on Saturday's Ray D'Arcy show to tell her heartbreaking story of a delayed cervical cancer diagnosis.

"'I just wanted to call you personally to apologise for what has happened to you but he also wanted to thank me for still encouraging women to go for smears and for promoting the Cervical screening programme' he said".

The Health Minister continued: 'If Vicky Phelan hadn't done what Vicky Phelan has done we wouldn't know and I wouldn't know what we now know'.

He said this was "unacceptable" and an overarching body should have been instigated by the HSE to advise on this.

Ms Phelan spoke movingly of the impact the dramatic revelations of the last week and her powerful speech outside the High Court has had on her family.