Just 50 victims of Ireland's cervical cancer scandal have received €2k payout
Only around 50 women who were victims of the CervicalCheck scandal have so far received a €2,000 ex-gratia payment, Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed.
The payment was called for by Dr Gabriel Scally, who is carrying out a scoping inquiry into the scandal.
The payout, which is separate to any compensation, is aimed at helping with expenses incurred by women and bereaved families - but it has previously been dismissed as "paltry".
The HSE explained officials are trying to speed up the payment to ensure that the affected people receive it as early as possible.
A package of support measures was agreed by the government over a month ago aimed at helping women and families with various costs, including the price of drugs, medical visits, therapies and childcare costs.
So far 246 new medical cards to women, family members and next of kin have been distributed.
The HSE said that arrangements are in place to reimburse a range of costs, including once the individuals have produced receipts.
Asked about progress in giving women who requested their medical files from CervicalCheck a copy of their documents, the HSE said "despite the surge in record request volumes" they are being processed within the agreed timeframes.
"We continue to try and shorten those timeframes to support women. This is a complex retrieval process through systems, email correspondences and hospitals," she said.
The cases of critically ill women have been "prioritised", she added.