Dáil Éireann - Volume 402 - 24 October, 1990

Written Answers. - Breast Screening Programme.

287. Mrs. Fennell asked the Minister for Health if his Department is involved in any research programme of mammography screening of women; and, if so, the location and the duration of this research.

288. Mrs. Fennell asked the Minister for Health the amount of public money which has been allocated to the FEMSCAN screening project in the years 1988, 1989 and 1990.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): I propose to take Questions Nos. 287 and 288 together. My Department supports the Eccles Breast Screening Programme currently underway at the Mater Foundation. This breast screening programme came into operation in November, 1989. The precise duration of the programme will be determined by the results of the on-going research. This programme is part of a network of pilot schemes on breast cancer screening underway within the European Community. The geographical areas selected are North Dublin and Cavan/Monaghan and are representative of both urban and rural populations. The objective of the screening programme is to evaluate the validity of mammographic screening tests and the up-take of the programme by the target-population.

The screening programme requires a [238] range of necessary support services such as pathology, oncology, cytology, surgical and radiography which are provided by the Mater Hospital. It is estimated that in 1990 that the cost to public funds of providing these support services will be approximately £190,000. In addition, a capital sum of £35,000 was made available in 1989.