Sinn Féin General Election candidate Ciara McCormack has welcomed the Sinn Féin Dáil motion which calls on the government to legislate for mandatory open disclosure in the HSE.
McCormack also said there are further questions to answer in relation to the cervical check scandal and that the process of accountability needs to continue as more information comes into the public domain.
Speaking in advance of a candle lit vigil held to show support for the women of Ireland who have been let down by the HSE, McCormack said:
“Since the scandal of Cervical Check broke Sinn Féin has advocated for supports for the women and families affected and set out the steps needed to rebuild confidence in the cancer detection process and health care service in general.
“Central to this is accountability and disclosure.
“The government had refused to hold the director general of the HSE to account and failed to introduce mandatory disclosure.
“We have consistently called for those responsible to be held to account. This process must continue as more information becomes publicity available. There is a role in this for the scoping inquiry established by the government and by the Oireachtas Health and Public Accounts Committees which will meet next week.
“As Health Minister, Leo Varadkar promised to introduce mandatory disclosure but, following advice from the Chief Medical Officer, he decided not to proceed. That was the wrong advice and the wrong decision in 2016 and women affected by the cervical check scandal are paying the cost of that decision. We now know that the chief medical officer was informed of the cervical check scandal in 2016.
“We need to know the nature of the advice given by the Chief Medical Officer to the then Health Minister, Leo Varadkar and we need to know if it informed by knowledge of the Cervical Check scandals or any other medical scandal.
“Given the failure by governments to introduce mandatory disclosure Sinn Féin will bring forward a Dáil motion, calling on the government to legislate for this before the summer recess. We expect all party and government support for this motion and have a bill in draft form that we will share with the government.
“The government must do right by the women and families affected and they must do right by future generations. The health care system cannot move from one scandal to the next. It is time to put it right. It is time for accountability and mandatory disclosure in the Health Care System is a crucial part of it.”