Fianna Fáil Press Office
Senator Mary White
Dublin Rathdown

04 February  2016

White shocked that no women aged 66-69 screened for breast cancer in 2015

Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Rathdown Senator Mary White has expressed her shock and concern that no women aged 66 – 69 were screened by Breast Check in 2015.

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 age extension is being implemented on an incremental basis, in line with the capacity of the system to manage the additional screening and follow up workload according to the Minister. The additional eligible population is approximately 100,000.
Senator White 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. To make matters worse, when a second question was submitted, it emerged that not one woman aged 66 to 69 was screened last year. The only women screened to date were aged 65.
“Women aged 65-69 have 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 Senator White.

Note to editor: links to PQs attached.