Fianna Fáil Cllr Martina Kinane is supporting Senator Mary White’s call in the Seanad for the Health Minister to extend the BreastCheck Screening programme to women over 65. The 2011 Programme for Government contained a commitment to extend the service for women in the 65-69 age bracket this year, but following a series of health cutbacks, that target will not be met.
Cllr. Kinane commented, “We need to keep the pressure on this Government to ensure that it keeps its promise and extends the BreastCheck programme to the over 65s. I’m calling on the sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, friends and neighbours of women over the age of 65 to make contact with the office of Health Minister Leo Varadkar in the next few days, either by email or letter, urging him to put a stop to this discrimination against these women. This is a life-saving programme that was promised for these women. The Minister must make good on his Government’s commitment and secure funding in next week’s Budget to ensure its roll-out.
“The risk of cancer increases with age, and medical research has found that women are at the highest risk of developing breast cancer between the ages of 55 and 75. BreastCheck is a vital tool in the fight against this life-threatening disease, however at the moment; the screening programme only caters for women under the age of 65. Lives will be lost unless the Government honours his commitment to extend the scheme”.