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CervicalCheck controversy

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  • 02-05-2018 3:30pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭


    McDonald accuses HSE of cover up over CervicalCheck controversy
    Sinn F Leader Mary Lou McDonald said Vicky Phelan's solicitor has described the case as a "cover up" and she is now convinced that is what we are facing by the Health Service Executive...

    "It is a scandal that Tony O'Brien is left in his post for those weeks to sail into the sunset with a large pension and hefty gratuity having left a scene of devastation and upset and trauma behind".

    She said that "incompetent man should be removed from his position".

    The Taoiseach said this is just not about looking for a resignation and heads to roll and this is about women's health.

    While McDonald calls for sackings and investigations, it will be very tough to support such suspicions. The former health minister and current Taoiseach deftly brings it to being about the victims. Although an admirable sentiment it's akin to after a mass shooting, not wanting to talk guns, but offer thoughts and prayers instead.

    We traditionally don't do accountability. I can't see McDonald getting any proof. At best we may see a lingering limp commission, which Lab's Kelly thinks is a waste of time and I tend to agree with him. I would expect the Health Department to become the new Justice Department, with the department being some kind of rogue entity and any minister heading it getting full confidence. We've talk of the HSE being "dysfunctional" as per Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell. So it's likely going to be a case of it all being on the HSE as an organisation, with no specific heads rolling and the HSE being some poor relation, a law unto itself, no government can control or be expected to.
    One thing for sure is it's not a great advertisement for privatisation, but it's not that we do accountability in our own state bodies anyway.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,538 ✭✭✭Topgear on Dave


    We can sack all round us every time there is a problem in health.

    It wont encourage the staff to open up and admit when there is a problem, it will just lead to more coverups.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭Red_Wake


    Shoot first and ask questions later is a SF tradition don't you know.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Red_Wake wrote: »
    Shoot first and ask questions later is a SF tradition don't you know.

    More jumping the gun, no? Her flaw here is expecting answers and consequences.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭Red_Wake


    Red_Wake wrote: »
    Shoot first and ask questions later is a SF tradition don't you know.

    More jumping the gun, no? Her flaw here is expecting answers and consequences.
    Reactionary sackings in the past have achieved nothing. Putting a new head in charge will change nothing on its own.

    A few suggestions for a plan to improve the HSE long term would be much more constructive and beneficial.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,538 ✭✭✭Topgear on Dave


    Red_Wake wrote: »
    Reactionary sackings in the past have achieved nothing. Putting a new head in charge will change nothing on its own.

    A few suggestions for a plan to improve the HSE long term would be much more constructive and beneficial.

    That is exactly what needs to be done.

    Perhaps as part of the next government formation deal SF might take the post of minister for health?


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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Can't see how McDonald is scoring an OG. She's the one party leader who pretty much from the get go has gotten just how serious this is.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Red_Wake wrote: »
    Reactionary sackings in the past have achieved nothing. Putting a new head in charge will change nothing on its own.

    A few suggestions for a plan to improve the HSE long term would be much more constructive and beneficial.

    We need accountability. People in such positions need to know their actions have personal consequences, but I agree, sackings alone won't make much odds.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Can't see how McDonald is scoring an OG. She's the one party leader who pretty much from the get go has gotten just how serious this is.

    She stated there was a cover up. It's a bit early to call that IMO. It's clear there was major incompetent dysfunction, but as to how much, if any was intentional cover up remains to be seen. I can't see Harris or O'Brien or some as yet unnamed HSE person putting their hand up and taking responsibility or responsibility for a cover up. Out sourcing is a great way of passing responsibility too. O'Brien resigning or being sacked won't make any difference, might send a message but the man is due to step down and is a major shareholder in pharmaceuticals state side, so he'll be fine either way.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    There was a cover-up though. A conscious decision was made not to tell some of the people affected:
    The screening programme told doctors in a circular, in July 2016, that the revised test results should be added to the woman’s file. They were told as a “general rule of thumb” that the woman should be told about the results but that clinicians should “use their judgment in selected cases where it is clear that discussion of the outcomes of the review could do more harm than good”. In cases where a woman has died, doctors were told simply to ensure that the result is recorded in the woman’s notes.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    There was a cover-up though. A conscious decision was made not to tell some of the people affected:

    We've seen before, 'I didn't think it was important.' works as a defence. I would love to see justice for those affected, but Varadkar is talking redress, which is not the same as conviction for anyone responsible in a criminal court.
    We could end up with the tax payer shelling out millions and those responsible getting a long winded list of committee recommendations.


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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    The other key piece of information to emerge was that HSE boss Tony O'Brien was warned 10 years ago about the outsourced testing provider:
    Speaking to RTE's Morning Ireland, Dr Gibbons explained that, in 2008, some backlog smear samples were outsourced to the US for cervical cancer testing. When the figures of the results were being collected, he became concerned.

    Dr Gibbons said the figures from the United States were showing one-third fewer high-grade dysplasias compared with Ireland. High grade dysplasias are smear samples which identify as having pre-cancerous cells.

    Gibbons said O'Brien dismissed his concerns. Gibbons resigned.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,605 ✭✭✭gctest50


    When did Cervical Check start up ?

    Quest Diagnostics Ireland Limited was set up on Thursday the 23rd of April 2009


    Surely it would have been better to "build up" one of the labs here - it'd always be needed ?

    (Nothing wrong with outsourcing if it's a bit of a temporary back log)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,336 ✭✭✭Mr.Micro


    gctest50 wrote: »
    When did Cervical Check start up ?





    Surely it would have been better to "build up" one of the labs here - it'd always be needed ?

    (Nothing wrong with outsourcing if it's a bit of a temporary back log)

    Absolutely. It's not difficult to read cervical smears. It is bizarre that smears and other specimens are still being sent abroad. When are the Government and the HSE going to get their acts together and start looking after the people of Ireland. It's one thing after another with the HSE... A disgrace and not fit for purpose.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Mr.Micro wrote: »
    Absolutely. It's not difficult to read cervical smears. It is bizarre that smears and other specimens are still being sent abroad. When are the Government and the HSE going to get their acts together and start looking after the people of Ireland. It's one thing after another with the HSE... A disgrace and not fit for purpose.

    I wonder was Harney's hubby involved in any decision to outsource? I recall him being a big fan of privatising health.

    I think Harris has an opportunity to tear down and rebuild the HSE. Not as big as the one Kenny wasted, but with the public looking for heads to roll on this, Harris could more easily tackle the HSE...if he's in politics to actually make a difference.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Red_Wake wrote: »
    Shoot first and ask questions later is a SF tradition don't you know.

    women all over the country scared stiff over this foul-up, my own wife included...and some clown sees it as a chance to stick it into SF ! get real RW.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    There was a cover-up though. A conscious decision was made not to tell some of the people affected:

    In what kind of sick, sick world is this not considered a serious criminal offense deserving of a custodial prison sentence? These people literally have blood on their hands. Sacking isn't enough, they should be receiving a criminal record and being hauled off to a cell for the next few years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 925 ✭✭✭mikep


    This is the ideal opportunity to really get to the heart of issues in the HSE, chances are it will be squandered though.
    On Mary Lou's call for a head, it seems like she is playing to the populist gallery, it could come back to bite her though if it is perceived that she is playing politics, which is exactly what she is doing.
    I'd prefer to see him stay to answer any questions that may arise..if you sack how could you compel him to take part in whatever form of investigation takes place?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    mikep wrote: »
    This is the ideal opportunity to really get to the heart of issues in the HSE, chances are it will be squandered though.
    On Mary Lou's call for a head, it seems like she is playing to the populist gallery, it could come back to bite her though if it is perceived that she is playing politics, which is exactly what she is doing.
    I'd prefer to see him stay to answer any questions that may arise..if you sack how could you compel him to take part in whatever form of investigation takes place?

    It would be cynical to suggest it's only playing politics though. The opposition are often criticised for not putting themselves out there and although she may be a little premature, I'm glad we have politicians calling out government. Varadkars response was, 'the women are the important thing' or something along those lines. True, but it reverts back to getting to the bottom of what happened, ensuring it doesn't again and most importantly consequences, criminal if required, for those involved.
    It seems civil servants received quarterly reports on the tests. Historically, this kind of thing can be excused away as, 'wasn't aware' 'not for me to action' 'seen it, but not qualified to give an opinion' etc. so I wouldn't hold my breath in relation to that.
    Members of the Government may have been told about almost a dozen claims by women seeking damages as a result of smear tests organised through the CervicalCheck service.

    Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach Martin Fraser told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee on Thursday morning that list of “sensitive” cases involving the State Claims Agency, was provided to the Government quarterly.
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/government-may-have-had-advance-notice-of-smear-check-cases-1.3482751


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    nlrkjos wrote: »
    women all over the country scared stiff over this foul-up, my own wife included...and some clown sees it as a chance to stick it into SF ! get real RW.

    I'm no fan of Sinn Fein, but fair play to them for raising this to the level it deserves.

    17 women have died due to incompetence and literally thousands more worried sick that the results they have been given were wrong.

    Meanwhile, it looks like Leo has a vested interest in defending Tony O'Brien.
    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/boss-of-us-firm-linked-to-hse-chief-held-event-for-varadkar-campaign-36868730.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,165 ✭✭✭✭jmayo


    We can sack all round us every time there is a problem in health.

    It wont encourage the staff to open up and admit when there is a problem, it will just lead to more coverups.

    If we sacked all the incompetents in our health service it would look fecking bare.
    So all the coverups so far are down to people being afraid they will be sacked.

    When was the last time someone was sacked for the fookups.

    Was someone sacked because they didn't properly monitor nursing homes for the elderly ?

    Was someone sacked because they left a poor girl for years in the care of a family with a suspected child rapist ?

    Was someone sacked because they didn't properly monitor Aras Atracta ?
    Oh yes the staff left when their appalling behaviour was exposed on prime time TV. :rolleyes:

    Was someone sacked because they let a man die in Cavan through misdiagnosis and sent him home ?
    And there are multiple similar episodes of misdiagnosis.

    Was someone sacked because they left a woman to die due to complications in child birth ?

    How long did it actually take for a doctor to be struck off because he was carrying out unnecessary caesarian hysterectomies and ruining womens' lives ?

    Was someone sacked because of the poor treatment of pregnant women in Portiuncla, Ballinasloe ?
    Red_Wake wrote: »
    Reactionary sackings in the past have achieved nothing. Putting a new head in charge will change nothing on its own.

    A few suggestions for a plan to improve the HSE long term would be much more constructive and beneficial.

    What fooking reactionary sackings ?

    One suggestion might be to fire a good chunk of the medical staff as l;azy overpaid incompetents.
    Get rid of half the management and admin staff.

    We spent a fortune on a health system that often has results no better than a third world system.
    Can't see how McDonald is scoring an OG. She's the one party leader who pretty much from the get go has gotten just how serious this is.

    I normally can't stand her or her party, but fair dues if she is shouting about this.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,336 ✭✭✭Mr.Micro


    jmayo wrote: »
    If we sacked all the incompetents in our health service it would look fecking bare.
    So all the coverups so far are down to people being afraid they will be sacked.

    When was the last time someone was sacked for the fookups.

    Was someone sacked because they didn't properly monitor nursing homes for the elderly ?

    Was someone sacked because they left a poor girl for years in the care of a family with a suspected child rapist ?

    Was someone sacked because they didn't properly monitor Aras Atracta ?
    Oh yes the staff left when their appalling behaviour was exposed on prime time TV. :rolleyes:

    Was someone sacked because they let a man die in Cavan through misdiagnosis and sent him home ?
    And there are multiple similar episodes of misdiagnosis.

    Was someone sacked because they left a woman to die due to complications in child birth ?

    How long did it actually take for a doctor to be struck off because he was carrying out unnecessary caesarian hysterectomies and ruining womens' lives ?

    Was someone sacked because of the poor treatment of pregnant women in Portiuncla, Ballinasloe ?



    What fooking reactionary sackings ?

    One suggestion might be to fire a good chunk of the medical staff as l;azy overpaid incompetents.
    Get rid of half the management and admin staff.

    We spent a fortune on a health system that often has results no better than a third world system.



    I normally can't stand her or her party, but fair dues if she is shouting about this.

    All the above even before we get to the horrendous waiting lists for consultation and procedures of every type ... The HSE not fit for purpose....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Mr.Micro wrote: »
    All the above even before we get to the horrendous waiting lists for consultation and procedures of every type ... The HSE not fit for purpose....

    Sadly this is not news. It's merely another area so bad the minister(s) throw their hands up, agree it's bad and move on. It all comes back to lack of accountability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,165 ✭✭✭✭jmayo


    Sadly this is not news. It's merely another area so bad the minister(s) throw their hands up, agree it's bad and move on. It all comes back to lack of accountability.

    The HSE was invented so that the minister, dept of health and indeed local councilors could not be held accountable.

    It is one of the very few cases where the amalgamation of different entities with similar overlapping staff resulted in absolutely no streamlining, no redundancies, but actually the creation of more bureaucrats to oversee the amalgamated mess.

    And AFAIK to copper fasten the mess the first head refused to work from it's new HQ and continued to work from his old base.

    There are good people working in the system, but it is head wreckingly morale suckingly bad for them to watch how the lazy, the incompetents, and the ar**lickers are tolerated and even promoted.

    It has been a joke from day 1 and if we forgot about the enormous wastage of money we might laugh, but then we think of all the victims, all wrecked lives that the fookup has left and continues to leave in it's wake.


    Oh and here is another one that AFAIK resulted in no one being fired, anyone remember PPARS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,165 ✭✭✭✭jmayo


    Just noticed that a huge current topic, a huge political discussion point and no one is really discussing this in the Politics Forum, nor the Politics Cafe AFAIK.

    IMHO it says a lot about this forum and where this site is heading.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    jmayo wrote: »
    Just noticed that a huge current topic, a huge political discussion point and no one is really discussing this in the Politics Forum, nor the Politics Cafe AFAIK.

    IMHO it says a lot about this forum and where this site is heading.

    I was reluctant to raise it.

    It seems to me, as I said earlier. Like the last financial crash, big events like this, how ever devastating, bring opportunity for good works. We, the state, can dodge and duck on to the next crisis or use the momentum to create real change. Like the financial crash, this is bigger than mere political parties. This is about the people and their well being. We need politicians to step up not talk about worthless toothless committees and paying off the victims to get rid of them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,622 ✭✭✭blackwhite


    When the health boards were done away with, and the HSE was being set up, there was an opportunity to start fresh. Instead Bertie went all out to appease the unions - promised nothing would change - and we ended up with basically all the disfunction of the Health boards multiplied.

    When the crash happened both Cowen and then Kenny had a chance to use it as an opportunity for serious reform. Neither even tried.

    The current scandal is nowhere near the opportunity for reform that we’ve had in the past, so I fully expect nothing to happen. No party is willing to take on the public sector unions in such a major way, despite the fact that such a bold move is 1) exactly what is needed, and 2) might actually win support from voters who aren’t public sector union members.

    We have a collection of political parties who all show a willingness to bow to the loudest grouping. The resistance to any meaningful change in the HSE from the vested interests will always be pretty loud - and I have no confidence that any of our political parties will ever have the cojones to ignore those who shout loudest


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    jmayo wrote: »
    Just noticed that a huge current topic, a huge political discussion point and no one is really discussing this in the Politics Forum, nor the Politics Cafe AFAIK.

    IMHO it says a lot about this forum and where this site is heading.

    It can’t be blamed on the Tories though, so no one is interested.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Aegir wrote: »
    It can’t be blamed on the Tories though, so no one is interested.

    We know who did nothing but how many times can ministers or parties use the 'it was like that when I got here' line?
    Unions will always fight for their membrs. That's the unions job. Civil servants will fight for civil servants. Politicians are supposed to fight for the tax payer, the well being of the state. Governments can make unpopular moves if it plays to the right people in the hopes a give away here or there will lead to short memories. We need them to pull the same kind of fast one for the benefit of the tax payer. Unlikely well have a genuine political government any time soon, (I don't believe state comes first for past and present politicians).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,108 ✭✭✭boombang


    The other key piece of information to emerge was that HSE boss Tony O'Brien was warned 10 years ago about the outsourced testing provider:



    Gibbons said O'Brien dismissed his concerns. Gibbons resigned.

    TOB has gone on record saying that Gibbons was correct in terms of the results he stated, but that this referred a configuration of testing at the US labs before they were contracted to provide services for CervicalCheck from 2008 onwards. The contract with CervicalCheck specified a number of criteria which means the pre 2008 comparison is not representative of US lab performance.

    Also worth noting, the failure to catch Nicky Phelan's case and others does not represent a systematic failing of screening. The screening test is imperfect and sadly we expect these misses.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,108 ✭✭✭boombang


    Mr.Micro wrote: »
    Absolutely. It's not difficult to read cervical smears.

    I'm not a pathologist, but I've seen the smear reading process and I would say that it is difficult to read smears. Check through 10,000 cells on a slide an spot differences in the staining of them. If it's easy to read smears why do we get false negatives and why does it take time to train screeners?


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