Belfast Telegraph

Health chief Tony O’Brien faces no confidence motion

It follows the cervical cancer screening scandal in which women with the disease were not told about wrongly interpreted smear results.

Sinn Fein is tabling a Dail no confidence motion in Health Service Executive (HSE) chief Tony O’Brien next week.

It follows the cervical cancer screening scandal in which women with the disease were not told about wrongly interpreted smear results.

The director-general is to take temporary leave of absence from the board of a US company he joined earlier this year.

The Government has said Mr O’Brien must focus on the smear issue ahead of his departure from the HSE in 12 weeks’ time.

A Sinn Fein statement said: “Sinn Fein health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly will today publish a motion of no confidence in HSE director general Tony O’Brien which will be tabled in the Dail next week.”

At the start of the week it was revealed that an audit by CervicalCheck – the national screening programme – of 1,482 women diagnosed with cervical cancer since 2008 had found potential errors in 208 cases, as tests showed no abnormality when they should have been given a cancer warning.

The majority of the 208 women – 162 – were not initially told of the outcome of the audit. Of the 208, 17 have since died.

It has since emerged that a further 1,518 women with the cancer in the same period have not been audited but health chiefs stress the number affected by potential errors in this group is likely to be lower.

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