Statement from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Inquiry into HSE CervicalCheck Screening Programme

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland welcomes the recommendations of the scoping Inquiry into the HSE’s CervicalCheck Screening Programme and is committed to continuing to work with the patients,  HSE, Department of Health and Dr Gabriel Scally to support the highest standards of patient care.

“We will take time to fully consider Dr Scally’s report and those recommendations which will inform our medical training and education programmes,” RCPI President, Prof Mary Horgan said.

“I also want to acknowledge and thank the brave women who are powerful advocates for improved patient care and understanding. All healthcare professionals have so much to learn from our patients. We will fully participate in a meeting with other medical colleges and the families involved with the cervical screening problems.

“Doctors are committed to working with patients and building strong relationships to improve how the health system works. We will also contribute to initiatives to introduce a greater duty of candour and welcome Dr Scally’s recommendation for public health expertise within the screening programmes” she said.

Open Disclosure

The Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which is a training body within RCPI, called for mandatory Open Disclosure in 2015. Its chair Dr Peter Boylan said: “It is often the way adverse outcomes are dealt with that can lead to anger and difficulties.  These issues can be dealt with well at the beginning with Open Disclosure, but it needs to be legislated for.”

Opportunity to eliminate HPV

“We have an opportunity to eliminate cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers in Ireland in the years ahead. I encourage parents to get their daughters vaccinated in the next round, which is now beginning, and repeat our call for boys to also be offered the HPV vaccine. Vaccination together with screening and the introduction of HPV testing can greatly reduce the incidence of cervical and other cancers” Prof Horgan said.

Yvonne McCahill

Press Officer, Communications Department

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