Dáil Éireann - Volume 483 - 02 December, 1997

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

281. Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will establish a breast screening programme for County Leitrim. [21319/97]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): A national breast screening programme was announced as part of the National Cancer Strategy in November 1996 and in the subsequent action plan to implement the strategy. The first phase of the national breast screening programme, which is currently in preparation, will [1439] cover the Eastern, North-Eastern and Midland Health Board areas. It will target 120,000 women in the 50 to 64 age group, which represents some 50 per cent of the national target pollution.

It is important to introduce the programme on a phased basis to ensure high quality and promote high uptake of the service. Decisions taken in the timing of subsequent phases, which will include County Leitrim, will be guided by the experience gained from putting phase one of the programme in place.

282. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there are several hundred biopsies waiting for assessment at Castlebar General Hospital, County Mayo; if he will have arrangements made to have this situation rectified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21320/97]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): The provision of services at Castlebar General Hospital, in this instance, is the responsibility of the Western Health Board. I have asked the chief executive officer of the Western Health Board to investigate the position and to reply to the Deputy directly.