Press Release

Statement by Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD on HPV Vaccination Programme

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D. said today (4th Nov. 2008) “The economic situation has rapidly and seriously deteriorated. Public resources, including those for health, are very scarce indeed and will remain so. I have decided that the best that can be achieved in these circumstances is to prioritise funding for the development of the cervical screening programme and treatment services at the eight designated cancer centres, which includes the challenge of funding very expensive cancer drugs. I will not therefore be proceeding with the introduction of a HPV vaccination programme.

“The continuation and expansion of the Cancer Control Programme under Professor Tom Keane remains a priority and funding of €15 million has been made available for this.

“At the moment we are rolling out the National Cervical Screening Programme, CervicalCheck. The Programme will provide free smear tests through primary care settings to the 1.1 million women living in Ireland aged between 25 and 60 years. A successful national programme has the potential to cut mortality rates from cervical cancer by up to 80%.”