Press Release

Minister for Health & Children welcomes commencement of breast cancer screening in the Western Region

Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney, TD today welcomed the commencement of breast cancer screening in the Western Region.

The Minister said: “The extension of breastcheck is a major priority of mine and I am delighted to see the delivery of this important service to women in the West of Ireland. It is a key element of the Government’s cancer control policy which is to detect and treat cancers as early as possible. I acknowledge the significant commitment of BreastCheck’s staff in delivering this ahead of the completion of the static unit at University College Hospital Galway. I would encourage all women who receive a letter from Breastcheck to avail of this very important service”

BreastCheck has decided to locate a digital mobile unit at Roscommon County Hospital from Monday 30 April with a view to commencing a screening service on or about Thursday 3 May next. BreastCheck sent letters yesterday to approximately 500 women living close to Roscommon town as part of their consent process. Each woman will subsequently receive an invitation letter with her individual appointment. The total screening population in Roscommon is estimated to be 4,500 women approximately.   Additional revenue funding of €8m has been allocated this year to meet the additional costs of the national roll-out, bringing BreastCheck’s revenue budget to €21.7m in 2007. An additional 69 posts have been approved and recruitment is underway. The Minister has also made available an additional €26.7m capital funding to BreastCheck for the construction of two new clinical units, five additional mobile units and the provision of state of the art digital equipment. Construction commenced on both static sites in Cork and Galway in early November last year and is due to be completed in September, followed by a three week commissioning period. They will be operational in October.