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Ó Caoláin supports demand for nationwide cervical cancer screening programme

24 February, 2005

Speaking after attending today's briefing in Dublin on cervical cancer screening, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin, supported the call by the 25 trade union, healthcare professional groups and women‚s organisations for the immediate implementation of a nationwide screening programme. Deputy Ó Caoláin said this issue "is literally a matter of life and death" which needs "urgent action".

The Cavan/Monaghan TD said, "There is hard evidence to show that an accessible nationwide screening programme can be successful in achieving an 80% reduction in cervical cancer. As Ireland has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in Western Europe, with 65 deaths recorded for the year 2000, it is clear that the lack of accessible screening services is literally a matter of life and death.

"Urgent action is now required. Sinn Féin wholeheartedly supports the call by the groups that have come together today demanding the rolling out of a national cervical screening programme as soon as possible. We also agree and support the call for that screening to be free of charge to all women aged between 25-60 years." ENDS

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