DEPUTY Kieran O’Donnell is hopeful that breast cancer screening will be extended to women aged between 65 and 69 next year.
This is on foot of correspondence from the HSE to the Limerick TD that bringing older women under the successful BreastCheck programme forms part of the HSE’s 2015 estimates process currently underway.
Fianna Fail’s Deputy Willie O’Dea has criticised the government for the delay in extending BreastCheck - which currently covers women aged 50 to 64 - to women in the older age group. It was originally due to have been rolled out in 2014 at the relatively low cost of €500,000.
But Deputy O’Donnell has now received confirmation from the HSE that the matter is being examined for the 2015 health budget.
“I am very pleased with this confirmation from the HSE. It’s a crucial step along the road to extending BreastCheck to women aged 65-69. It follows a commitment I previously got from the Minister for Health in the Dail that free BreastCheck monitoring will be extended to women aged 65-69 during the lifetime of this government,” said Deputy O’Donnell, Fine Gael.
“I am very hopeful that the extension of BreastCheck to women aged 65-69 will happen as part of the HSE’s 2015 service plan.”