Minister for Health Simon Harris has denied he displayed “a lack of empathy” with the women impacted by the CervicalCheck scandal who recently learned they had received incorrect results.

On Wednesday patient advocate Stephen Teap accused the Minister of “a lack of empathy” following a review of more than 1,000 slides carried out by the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) that highlighted 308 different results to the screening programme.

The report said 159 of those different results led to missed opportunities to prevent cancer or diagnose it at an earlier stage.

Mr Harris told Newstalk Breakfast the experiences of women impacted by the CervicalCheck scandal will stay with him for the rest of his life. Some of the women impacted have become his friends in the months since the scandal broke, he said.

“For the rest of my life I will hold with me the stories and experiences of the women who have been impacted by the CervicalCheck debacle – and their families, their next of kin.

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