The Scally Report opens ‘can of worms’ around misogyny in the Irish health system, says Labour TD

‘frankly disgusting’

Labour TD Alan Kelly called for a forum to discuss the ‘disgusting’ and ‘disgraceful’ behaviour of some of Ireland’s clinicians

THE Scally Report has “opened a can of worms” around the culture of misogyny in the Irish health system, it has been claimed.

Labour TD Alan Kelly has called for a forum to discuss the “disgusting” and “disgraceful” behaviour of some of Ireland’s clinicians.

Labour TD Alan Kelly

Garrett White – The Sun Dublin

Labour TD Alan Kelly

Earlier this week, the Scally Report revealed how victims were let down by a plethora of systematic failures within Ireland’s health service.

Officials failed to inform some 221 women with cervical cancer that their smear tests, that previously gave them the all clear, were inaccurate.

The scandal only went public after brave Vicky Phelan took the HSE and an American lab to court after she was diagnosed with cancer.

The report claimed the Cervical Check scheme was “doomed to fail” and made 50 recommendations to turn the programme around.

Dr Gabriel Scally

PA:Press Association

Dr Gabriel Scally

Dr Scally’s 170 page report also exposed a culture of misogyny among some clinicians which kept women in the dark about diagnoses.

Speaking to the Irish Sun on Sunday, Kelly said: “I think there is an ethical issue here. I think there’s an issue in relation to clinicians’ roles in society.

“I think what we got from this report is that in some scenarios there’s a god-like view being given by some clinicians to the women and it’s frankly disgusting.”

The report noted the testimonies of some of the women affected. When one woman tried to question their oncologist further, he “ushered” her out the door with “no support and many questions”.

Vicky Phelan took the HSE to task

PA:Press Association

Vicky Phelan took the HSE to task

When another patient asked her consultant why she wasn’t informed, he replied: “What difference does it make?”

When another woman asked how she will be informed, the consultant said: “Watch the news”.

Kelly added: “Where there was a male/female relationship, there was misogynistic and I think this has opened a can of worms and taken the lid off something which now needs to be dealt with and this is the greatest example.

“We have to get to a place which asks the questions of why this happened and allows it to be changed — not just for clinicians who are dealing with screening and cancer but also clinicians across the board — because obviously there is an issue here.”

Kelly also called for a further investigation into how the HSE handled the scandal to be carried out by Dr Gabriel Scally and a judge.

He said: “Dr Scally told me when I asked him, under no circumstances would he allow the HSE to investigate themselves because internal investigations on something as serious as this are not good practice. It has to be externally investigated because hundreds of women’s lives and hundreds of families have been affected.”

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