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Hospital breast cancer misdiagnosis renews concerns over Irish Health Service

A series of breast cancer misdiagnosis at the Midlands Regional Hospital at Portlaoise, Co. Laois, have put once again the Irish Health Service (HSE) under scrutiny.

A series of breast cancer misdiagnosis at the Midlands Regional Hospital at Portlaoise, Co. Laois, have put once again the Irish Health Service (HSE) under scrutiny.

The HSE announced last September 2007 a review of about 3,000 mammograms and 2,500 breast ultrasounds after it was found that several women were wrongly given the all-clear for breast cancer.

On November 7 it emerged that Portlaoise Hospital had been warned in December 2006 about the age of the mammography machine and advised that poor image quality could result in the missed or delayed diagnosis of a tumour.

Later in November 2007 the Health Service Executive came again under fire for failing to confirm the extent of the cancer test review at Cork University Hospital.

The Minister for Health, Mary Harney, announced that a report by the Health Service Executive on the misdiagnosis of cancer patients at Porlaoise Hospital was underway.

Fine Gael and the Irish Labour Party said the Minister for Health had to be accountable for the manner in which women undergoing cancer tests had been treated, and tabled a motion of no-confidence in the Irish Parliament.

The Fianna Fáil - Progressive Democrats - Greens coalition government defeated the no-confidence motion by 84 votes to 73.

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