Updated: 11/05/18 : 06:29:52
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O'Brien steps down as DG of HSE in wake of cervical cancer scandal

Tony O'Brien last night announced he will be stepping down as Director General of the HSE with effect from 'close of business' today, Friday.

As detailed in a statement from the HSE, Mr O'Brien will step, "in order to avoid any further impact to the delivery of health and social care services, in particular the cancer screening services that have become the focus of intense political debate in recent days".

He said that "notwithstanding the clear communication failures surrounding the CervicalCheck Audits", he is "confident that the Scally Review will demonstrate the quality and value of the CervicalCheck Programme once it is complete".

Mr O'Brien said he looks forward to co-operating and engaging with the review.

The statement said that Mr O’Brien "has been proud to lead the health services and the many staff who have worked tirelessly and with great dedication to provide health and social care services in a very challenging environment.

It states that he "remains deeply committed to health reform in Ireland and in particular the full implementation of the Slainte Care Report" and retains his "fullest support for Minister Harris in this regard".

In a separate statement, the Department of Health said that Mr O'Brien met with the Minister for Health Simon Harris this evening and informed him of his decision.

Minister Harris has thanked Mr O’Brien for his many years of service and dedication.

“I would like to express my thanks to Tony O’Brien for his many years of dedicated public service.

"I know that he is standing down from his role because he believes it is in the best interest of rebuilding public confidence in the wake of the issues which have arisen in CervicalCheck.

"The Cabinet meeting (Friday) will again discuss this matter and the further measures which can be put in place to care for and support the women and families affected.”

Link: Sligo Today 11/5/2018