Phe­lan crit­i­cises Taoiseach over cer­vi­cal smear is­sue

The Irish Times - - Home News - DAVID RALEIGH

Cer­vi­cal can­cer cam­paigner Vicky Phe­lan (above) has strongly crit­i­cised the Taoiseach over the Gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse to the needs of cer­vi­cal can­cer pa­tients since she ex­posed the Cer­vi­calCheck con­tro­versy last year.

Ms Phe­lan was speak­ing on Satur­day night be­fore she was awarded the Fitzger­ald Bi­ble Bruff Award for 2018.

She praised Min­is­ter for Health Si­mon Har­ris for his ef­forts to im­prove screen­ing stan­dards for cer­vi­cal can­cer pa­tients.

“At least you know that there is a will­ing­ness there, where there isn’t in other [Gov­ern­ment] parts,” she said.

“I wouldn’t have that same con­fi­dence in the Taoiseach, put it that way. He doesn’t in­spire me with con­fi­dence. I think he is very much ‘all talk and no ac­tion’, and I just don’t get [the] sense that he thinks this is as im­por­tant as what it is re­ally”.

In re­sponse, a spokesman for Mr Varad­kar said: “The Taoiseach has the high­est re­gard for Vicky Phe­lan. When they met last year he was im­pressed by her courage, and by her com­mit­ment to the Cer­vi­calCheck pro­gramme. Her in­put and ad­vice con­tin­ues to guide the Gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse.”

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