Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Mary Hanafin
27 January 2016
Minister for Health has abandoned women aged over 65 – Hanafin
Fianna Fáil candidate for Dun Laoghaire Cllr Mary Hanafin has expressed disappointment with the Minister for Health who revealed figures on the number of women invited to avail of the Breast Check service.
Fianna Fáil’s Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD recently tabled a Parliamentary Question asking the Minister for Health how many women aged 65-69 had availed of the service.
In his response the Minister said an invitation from Breast Check had been sent to 1,000 women in this age group and that last year 500 had been screened. The additional eligible population is approximately 100,000.
Cllr Hanafin commented: “I am disappointed with the Minister’s response. For only 1,000 out of 100,000 to be invited for Breast Check is a disgrace. Fine Gael promised the extension of this scheme in their Programme for Government but their response to date is tokenistic.
“This age group has the second highest incidence of breast cancer. The Irish Cancer Society has quoted international studies that at least two lives will be saved for every 500 screened. By that measure only one woman in that age group is going to be saved by this extension of the service.
“That is simply not good enough,” added Cllr Hanafin. “The life expectancy for women in Ireland is 83 years and older women deserve the opportunity to live healthy lives availing of Breast Check. This is being denied them by the Government.”