Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne says the HSE needs to provide certainty for patients over the standards of its cancer screening programme at Wexford General Hospital.

Deputy Browne made the comments after it was revealed that the HSE has written to 13 patients whose cancer was possibly misdiagnosed after being screened at the hospital.

“Last year it was revealed that around 600 patients who received cancer screening at Wexford General Hospital were being recalled due to concerns that their cases were not dealt with correctly. This review found that 2 cases of bowel cancer were missed arising from colonoscopies carried out at the hospital in 2013 and 2014,” said Deputy Browne.

“At the time the HSE assured patients that all cases had been thoroughly and comprehensively investigated. However now it transpires that a further 11 cases of possible misdiagnosis have been identified, bringing the total to 13 cases. This is deeply concerning and comes as a shock to the patients and their families.

“The HSE needs to provide patients with certainty that there will not be a repeat occurrence of misdiagnosis at the hospital. It’s clear that new protocols are needed to prevent a repeat of this. In particular, the HSE needs to ensure the cancer screening programme at the hospital is adequately staffed and resourced. Failure to do so could result in over-worked staff making mistakes.

“I’ve written to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and have asked him to investigate this issue,” concluded Deputy Browne.