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Ferris calls on new Health Minister to commit to Breast Check Extension to Kerry

29 September, 2004

Sinn Féin's North Kerry TD Martin Ferris has called on the incoming Minister for Health to commit to extending the breast screening programme BreastCheck to all areas by 2005. Deputy Ferris made his call on the day that Bertie Ahern is to announce his cabinet reshuffle and it is expected that there will be a new Minister for Health.

Deputy Ferris said:

"I am calling on the new Minister for Health, whomever that may be, to commit to the timescale given by Mícheál Martin to extend the BreastCheck programme to all areas, including Kerry, by 2005.

"In April 2003 Mícheál Martin committed to rolling out this vital service to all counties by 2005. In September of this year, he approved €20 million in funding for the National Expansion of BreastCheck. I am now asking the incoming Health Minister to commit to this timescale and to stick to the original target of 2005.

"I understand that the South Infirmary Hospital in Cork has acquired a large site adjacent to the existing facility and has submitted a full detailed options assessment to the Department of Health for the development of a number of facilities, including one for BreastCheck. This unit, when ready, will have three associated mobile screening units covering Cork, Limerick, Waterford, South Tipperary, and Kerry.

„The people of Kerry and the south west have been waiting long enough for this service and I hope that the new Minister will recognise this by giving a commitment to extend BreastCheck by next year. " ENDS

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