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'Talk is cheap': Emma Mhic Mhathúna criticises the government on The Late Late Show

Emma was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016, three years after a smear test result incorrectly came back as normal.

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

EMMA MHIC MHATHÚNA has told The Later Late Show that she is glad the government is listening to her but that “talk is cheap”.

The mother-of-five has terminal cancer and is one of the 209 women whose smear test results were re-examined as part of an audit into screening programme CervicalCheck.

Mhic Mhathúna was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016, three years after a smear test result incorrectly came back as normal.

She was only told in the past couple of weeks that her 2013 smear test was reexamined as part of the audit.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris announced a package of measures to help women impacted by the CervicalCheck scandal.

They said  that State will pay the women’s medical costs and they will get a discretionary medical card, as well as being exempt from the prescription charge. Free counselling is also to be given to the women.

The package will be individually tailored to each woman and her family.

Speaking last night on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show, Mhic Mhathuna said she was glad the government is listening to her but that there have been problems in the health service for years.

“Talk is cheap. When you’re back is to the wall you’ll say anything. I’m glad they’re listening to me, it’s unfortunate that it’s taken my life for them to listen to me,” she said.

The whole general public has been saying for years to the government that we’re not being taken care of. We’re on list for wheelchairs, or hearing tests.

The 37-year-old also said she felt the HSE needs a complete overhaul.

“The HSE to be dismantled and reassembled in the best possible way to cover everybody. For the people who want to work within the health service to manage it,” she said.

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Rónán Duffy

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