Dáil Éireann - Volume 618 - 26 April, 2006
Written Answers. - Cancer Screening Programme.
Dr. Cowley Dr. Cowley
Dr. Cowley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children her views on whether she should take up the offer made by a Galway clinic on 11 February 2003 to provide a BreastCheck service until the unit was built in Galway in view of the fact that breast cancer is a terrible killer and in further view of the fact that health care apartheid exists here and that 260 more women will die needlessly in the west and south before BreastCheck is up and running; if she cannot fast-track BreastCheck before 2007, if she will allow the Galway clinic to provide a breast screening service in the meantime to save these 260 women’s valuable lives; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15563/06]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Ms Harney: BreastCheck, the national breast screening programme, commenced in 2000 with the programme covering the former Eastern, North Eastern and Midland Health Board regions. In 2003 the extension of the programme to counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford and the national expansion of the programme to the rest of the country was announced. Screening commenced in Wexford in March 2004, in Carlow in April 2005 and in Kilkenny in March this year. I informed the House last month of my meeting with representatives of BreastCheck and of my wish to have the programme rolled out to the remaining regions of the country as quickly as possible. Some €2.3 million was made available to BreastCheck this year to provide among other things for the early recruitment and training of staff. The interview process for the posts of clinical directors is now completed and BreastCheck has also commenced the recruitment process for other essential staff. The notice for the procurement of the construction company for the new clinical units in Cork and Galway has been published in the EU Journal and the design team is now in the process of short listing applicants. Following the selection of the contractor, construc tion of the units can commence. BreastCheck is confident that the target date of next year for the commencement of the national roll-out will be met. On full roll-out, all women in the target age group in every county will have access to breast screening and follow up treatment where appropriate.
As I previously informed the House, any proposal received by BreastCheck to support the roll-out of its screening programme is carefully examined to assess the extent to which it complies with existing standards. BreastCheck has advised my Department that it has engaged in extensive discussions with the clinic referred to by the Deputy. BreastCheck has conducted an evaluation of this proposal and has concluded that the clinic in question would not be in a position to provide a population-based screening programme in line with BreastCheck’s requirements.
Question No. 159 answered with Question No. 132.
Dáil Éireann 618 Written Answers. Cancer Screening Programme.