Dr Gabriel Scally and associates paid €1.13 million for work on CervicalCheck inquiry
Public health expert due to undertake further review after pandemic abates
Dr Gabriel Scally is the author of the State’s report into the CervicalCheck programme .Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Public health expert Dr Gabriel Scally and associates have been paid €1.13 million for his work on the CervicalCheck screening inquiry, according to new figures provided by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.*
In a written Dáil reply to Labour leader Alan Kelly, Mr Donnelly confirmed that last year the department paid Dr Scally’s Gabriel Scally Consultants Ltd €159,129.
This followed payments totalling €445,843 made to Dr Scally’s firm in 2019 and payments of €529,157 in 2018.
Dr Scally, who often appears on broadcast media with his commentary on the State’s response to Covid-19, established Gabriel Scally Consultants Ltd in June 2018. Accounts for 2019 show that the company recorded a profit of €136,788 for the year and had accumulated profits of €203,681 at the end of December 2019.
A spokesman for Dr Scally said “this figure refers to the entire cost of the inquiry including a multidisciplinary support team, involving legal and medical expertise, office accommodation and travel including sending teams to the US on three occassions”.*
Dr Scally is the author of the State’s report into the CervicalCheck programme, which reviewed revelations that hundreds of women had not been informed of an audit of their cervical smear tests after being diagnosed with cancer.
The inquiry was set up in May 2018 after terminally ill Limerick woman, Vicky Phelan settled her High Court case for €2.5 million over being given incorrect smear test results.
Dr Scally’s work did not conclude with the publication of the report. The Government accepted all 50 recommendations made in Dr Scally’s scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck programme, which was published on September 12th, 2018.
An implementation plan was published in December 2018 and the then minister for health Simon Harris requested Dr Scally to undertake an independent review of the implementation plan.
Dr Scally was requested to undertake a further implementation review, and this took place in late 2019. The report of this review of the implementation of the recommendations of the scoping inquiry into CervicalCheck was received by the department in April 2020.
The review was published last December and Mr Donnelly stated: “In this review report, Dr Scally says that substantial progress has been made, the vast majority of actions were on track or were completed, and he is satisfied with the approach and structures in place for implementation.”
Mr Donnelly told Mr Kelly that Dr Scally suggested, in his second review report, that he conduct one final progress review at a suitable point sometime after the coronavirus crisis has abated.
Mr Donnelly said he was “supportive of this and will raise it with the CervicalCheck Steering Committee at the appropriate time”.
He said that Dr Scally is also a member of the Crowe Consultancy team in place to provide an evidence review and to make recommendations for a Policy Framework for Open Disclosure in Healthcare in Ireland.
Mr Donnelly stated that Crowe has completed its work after submitting its report in January and the report is to be published on the Department website.
*This article was updated and amended on Saturday, March 6th