This General Election, we are asking all election candidates and Political Parties to commit to three actions if elected.
The CervicalCheck debacle which has unfolded over the past two years highlighted an inherent weakness in the governance of healthcare in Ireland.
It left close to 600 women and their families permanently scarred – some no longer with us. It also undermined the public’s faith and trust in screening as a process, which puts the lives of other women at risk.
Three separate reviews – Scally, MacCraith and RCOG – have identified the changes required to provide a robust effective screening programme in which all women can trust. The delivery of change can only be assured where there is an unambiguous political intent which dictates that change must be prioritised.
As the support group for the women and families directly impacted by the mistakes of the past, we – the members of 221+ – are asking all Political Parties and election candidates to make a clear statement in their manifesto for the coming general election that they will continue the work to:
1. Implement all of the recommendations made in the Scally, MacCraith, and RCOG Reports, with oversight from the CervicalCheck Steering Committee.
Now is the time to make ALL of the changes necessary to ensure women in Ireland will receive the highest possible standard of screening for cervical cancer from their national screening programme, and to complete the positive changes to women’s healthcare that Irish women expect and deserve
2. Invest in Specialist After-care Clinics for women who are living with the life long after effects of gynaecological cancers.
The supports currently available to survivors of gynaecological cancers are woefully insufficient. These women, and their families, desperately need post treatment care and support services delivered through specialist aftercare clinics that are overseen by the HSE.
3. Ensure that the proposed Assisted Human Reproduction Legislation is amended in line with the recommendations made by the Joint Committee on Health, giving particular attention to the inclusion of international surrogacy that meets the relevant criteria and standards, and changing the designation of a surrogate as the legal mother of a child born via surrogacy
For many 221+ members, surrogacy is now the only option they have to start or grow their family. Cancer treatments commonly cause infertility. We urgently need robust regulation in this area to provide the necessary protections to all parties involved in the Assisted Human Reproduction process.