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Ó Caoláin urges Minister Harney to act on cervical cancer screening programme

23 March, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed the statement of Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney that she is in favour of the rollout of a national cervical cancer screening programme, including all-Ireland co-operation on its delivery. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Minister Harney during Dáil Questions today stated in response to my question that she favoured the rollout of a national cervical cancer screening programme. She also stated that she would support cross-border co-operation in this area. This is welcome.

"What the Minister must do now is to act on her words in the Dáil. She should heed the call of the Irish Cancer Society and of 24 organisations including trade unions, professional bodies and women‚s networks who on the 24th of February joined together in a unanimous call for a national pre-cancer screening programme.

"In the year 2000 there were 1090 new cases of in situ cervical cancer ˆ a pre-cancerous state; there were 193 cases of invasive cancer and 65 deaths. Comprehensive screening, leading to early detection and treatment, can and will dramatically reduce both the development of cancer and the death toll from this disease. The Minister should therefore roll out a screening programme as soon as possible."ENDS

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