CervicalCheck: Family members to have medical cards extended

McEntee expected to bring informal update to Cabinet about Saturday’s protest in Dublin city centre

The Cabinet is expected to agree a three-year extension to medical cards of dependants and family members of women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is expected to bring a memo to the weekly Cabinet meeting to extend the cards which were due to expire, it is understood.

The medical cards are for dependants or family members of affected women. Cards held by the women themselves do not have an expiry date. They were issued on an “administrative basis” by the HSE from May 2018, and had a three-year expiry date attached to them.

Ministers will be asked on Tuesday morning to approve a three-year extension to the cards which had been issued as part of a package of supports for women and their families. Just under 1,100 dependants hold cards with expiry dates.

It comes after it emerged last month that the CervicalCheck Tribunal has yet to receive a claim more than two months after it started work and two years after the government decided to set it up.

The tribunal is to conduct an “outreach programme” to ensure “the public is informed of its existence” and how it plans to conduct its proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, is expected to bring an informal update to the Cabinet about Saturday’s protest in Dublin city centre.

Three gardaí were injured in clashes after hundreds of people gathered in Dublin city centre to protest against Covid-19 restrictions. One garda needed hospital treatment.