Medical Council’s views on CervicalCheck

 

Sir, – As a doctor I was surprised by the statement of the Irish Medical Council regarding the CervicalCheck issue, as it represents a major change of direction by the council, and one that needs to be questioned (“Concern at ‘inaccurate’ information on cervical screening”, Front page, August 7th)

The Medical Council exists and derives its powers from the Medical Practitioners Act. Its duty is to protect the public by regulating the medical profession. It carries out this duty by overseeing individual doctors. It investigates complaints made against these individual doctors. It has no role under the Act to comment on Government health programmes, national medical controversies or inaccurate media reporting of the CervicalCheck controversy.

Many members of the medical profession feel that the Medical Council has been somewhat discredited in recent years by its poor handling of complaints against doctors, with the Supreme Court having reversed a number of incorrect decisions made by the council in its role of policing the medical profession.

The Medical Council should concentrate on doing its core work in a fair and reasonable manner, and it should keep its distance from matters that are not within its brief under the Medical Practitioners Act. – Yours, etc,

Dr TOM O’ROURKE,

Retired medical

practitioner,

Gorey, Co Wexford.