“Women are voting with their feet against the Cervical Check Tribunal” – Tóibín
The Department of Health has confirmed to Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD that the deadline by which claims may be received by the Cervical Check Tribunal has been extended by six months.
Speaking on the matter, Deputy Tóibín said:
"Extending the deadline by which claims can be received by the Cervical Check Tribunal at this stage seems like a last ditch attempt to salvage the tribunal, in the hopes that more claims will be lodged. It is clear, however, that women are voting with their feet. A mere 17 women have opted to go through the tribunal, while last year over 100 others have taken the legal route. The Minister needs to admit that he was wrong to ignore the concerns of the 221 plus group around the nature of this tribunal" , concluded Tóibín.
Phone 085 223 96 20
From: Kate O'Flaherty
Sent: Friday 28 January 2022 14:53
Subject: Query on behalf of Deputy Peadar Toibin re CervicalCheck Tribunal
Thank you for your call earlier and the query on behalf of Deputy Peadar Toibin’s office regarding an update on the CervicalCheck Tribunal.
Below is a comprehensive update provided by the Department.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you or Deputy Toibin require any further information.
Update from Department of Health regarding the CervicalCheck Tribunal (28th January 2022)
We understand that as of January 25th 2022 the CervicalCheck Tribunal has received 17 claims. The Tribunal has advised that a significant portion of the claims it has received have now been resolved. The Tribunal only received its first claims in March 2021 and the early resolution of the claims received demonstrates that the Tribunal can bring claims to resolution in months, rather than the years that many claims have been pending before the Courts. The Tribunal has been set up to progress an increased number of claims within these same strict timeframes.
The Tribunal is the most appropriate venue to hear and determine CervicalCheck claims. It has been specifically designed for that purpose. However, Mr. Justice Meenan set out that participation in any alternative to the Courts must be voluntary for all parties. It is entirely up to eligible women as to whether or not they choose to use the Tribunal.
We have carefully considered all concerns about the Tribunal that were raised by eligible parties and strongly believe that the Tribunal is the best achievable alternative to the Courts for eligible claims, offering substantial advantages when compared to a normal Court process. The Minister has this week extended the closing date for receipt of claims by the CervicalCheck Tribunal to 26 July 2022. The CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019 does not provide for a further extension of this date.
It is still open to eligible women with claims pending before the Courts to transfer to the Tribunal and see their claims resolved more quickly. We understand that the Tribunal has continued to receive enquiries and claims in recent days.
Relevant patient groups have been advised of the extension and notices are planned for legal journals. The CervicalCheck Steering Committee was also updated at its meeting earlier this week.