Fórsa has said it fully supports plans for a full and thorough inquiry into Ireland’s cervical cancer screening programme, and has called on the Government to ensure that due process is followed when seeking accountability for errors in the service and communications with the women affected.
The union’s head of division for health and welfare Éamonn Donnelly said it was essential that the health service and its staff be held accountable for mistakes, and the consequences for women that followed.
“The Government and its health authorities must find the quickest thorough and accurate means of uncovering exactly what went wrong and – more importantly – communicating with and supporting the women affected.
“Health service workers have been toiling against a background of serious staff shortages and growing demand over the past few years, so it’s also important that due process is followed in the investigation and any disciplinary processes that may follow,” he said.
Éamonn said any investigation should look at the way the HSE and other health agencies procure and manage externally-sourced services.
“Fórsa is against privatisation of core health services, though we’ve never taken an ideological position against all external involvement in health provision. But, on the face of it, there seem to be lessons about ensuring that outsourced services are adequate and appropriate to Irish practices,” he said.