Ireland's leader apologizes for cervical cancer scandal

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 file photo, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels. Ireland’s prime minister on Friday, May 11, 2018 has apologized and pledged an investigation into the controversy over inaccurate cervical cancer screening tests. It emerged earlier this month that an internal audit had found potential errors in the smear tests of 209 women but those findings weren't shared with the affected patients, prompting a wave of public anger. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, file)

LONDON — Ireland's leader has apologized for a scandal over inaccurate cervical cancer screening tests and has pledged an investigation to find out what went wrong.

It emerged this month that an internal audit had found potential errors in the smear tests of 209 women but those findings weren't shared with the patients, prompting a wave of public anger.

In an emotional statement Friday, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the Irish government is "determined to get to the bottom of this and to restore your faith in a service that should be about saving lives and never about saving face."

Varadkar, a doctor and former health minister, said the government shared the anguish of women who were given inaccurate results and announced a support plan for women caught up in the scandal.

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