Simon Harris to organise free repeat smear tests after cervical cancer controversy

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A 43-year-old woman who was given mistaken test outcomes and is now critically ill with cervical cancer has settled her High Court activity against a U.S. lab for €2.5m.

When she returned for a routine smear test three years later in 2014, she was told she had cervical cancer.

Saturday night saw the HSE confirmed that the clinical director of Cervical Check, Dr Gráinne Flannelly, had stepped down from her post effective immediately, in wake of the recent cervical cancer scandal.

Prof Flannelly is said to have informed the HSE of her decision yesterday evening. I have chose to step aside to allow the Programme to continue it's important work'.

It recently emerged that 206 women who developed cancer were wrongly given the all-clear, which was only discovered when their tests were re-examined after they were diagnosed.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and the Tanaiste, Simon Coveney, have apologised to Ms Phelan and her family.

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The HSE thanked Dr Flannelly in a statement, saying that "she has helped to introduce a programme that has saved the lives of countless women in Ireland through screening and early intervention and who would otherwise have died from cervical cancer". In advance of the peer review being completed it is considered essential that the remainder of the leadership team of the programme remain in situ.

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.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Simon Harris has sent a new management team into CervicalCheck after expressing no confidence in the current management.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer around the same time but she only found out about that review previous year.

Minister Harris had said on Friday he now can not have confidence in the managers of the screening programme.

This week Mrs Phelan was awarded €2.5 million from the high Court, which she said would go towards making her final days more comfortable for her and her two young children.

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