Press Release

Tánaiste approves appointment of design team for national extension of BreastCheck

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., today issued approval for placing of a notice in the Official Journal of the European Communities to advertise for the appointment of a Design Team to work up detailed plans for the design and construction of the two new BreastCheck static clinical units. The total capital approved amounts to approximately €25 million.

The BreastCheck clinical unit for the Southern region will be located at South Infirmary/Victoria Hospital, with three associated mobile units. Counties covered include Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Waterford and Tipperary S.R. There are approximately 72,000 women in the target population for screening in the Southern region.

The BreastCheck clinical unit in the Western region will be located at University College Hospital, Galway, with two associated mobile units. The area of coverage is counties Galway, Sligo, Roscommon, Donegal, Mayo, Leitrim, Clare and Tipperary N. R. There are approximately 58,000 women in the target population for invitation to screening in the Western region. A €3 million capital investment in the development of a symptomatic breast centre in Galway is included as part of the initiative.

The aim of the programme is to identify and treat breast cancer at an early stage in order to reduce mortality. The expansion will enable an additional 130,000 women in the relevant age group in the Southern and Western regions to avail of screening.

The Tánaiste says “ I am committed to the national roll out of the BreastCheck programme and am confident that the target date of 2007 for commencement of the roll-out to the regions will be met. This will ensure that all women in the relevant age group in every county have access to breast screening and follow up treatment where appropriate”.