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These are dedicated pages presented by the Press Office of the Department of Health. Our aim is to facilitate customers with access to information on health topics which may be of current interest.

‘On The Record’

Cancer Screening – Parliamentary Question

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In a reply to a Parliamentary Question on Cancer Screening Programme Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly siad: I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the national colorectal screening programme, BowelScreen, commenced in November, 2012. The programme has been introduced on a phased basis to men and women between the ages of 60-69 years. When fully implemented the programme will offer free screening to men and women aged 55-74 every two years. As 50% of cancers within this age group are found in people aged 60-69 the programme has begun with this latter age cohort (a population of approximately 500,000). It is anticipated that the first screening round will take up to three years to complete. Over time the phasing of the programme will allow development of colonoscopy capacity to cater for the full 55-74 year age group. The estimated cost of the programme in 2013, based on an uptake rate of 60% among the target population, is €4.3m with further costs in subsequent years as the programme expands. The programme has been shown through a Health Technology Assessment to be cost effective as it will very quickly reduce mortality among the screened population. While a multi-annual budget has not been set aside for the Programme, it will continue to be prioritised into the future. I regard the colorectal screening programme as a national priority and I am committed to supporting it as it develops.

Disability Services for Children – Topical Issue Debate

Speech by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch on a Topical Issue Debate on a Disability services for children. I wish to thank Deputy O’Brien for raising this matter.  Disability services for children have a long history in Ireland and many organisations provide excellent support and interventions for children and their families. However, as they have developed independently and were often established to serve one specific group of children only, the result is that there is wide variation in the services available in different parts of the country and for different categories of disability. We need to find a better way to provide services for all children with disabilities.

The Health Service Executive has recognised that the current system lacks equity and acknowledges that there is a need to increase the level of consistency and standardisation in the way both early intervention services and services for school-aged children with disabilities are delivered. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Help – Topical Issue Debate

Speech by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch on a Topical Issue Debater regarding Home Help, enhanced Home Care Packages, Meals-on-Wheels and Day or Respite provision. I would like to thank the Deputy for raising this issue. It provides me with an opportunity to update the House on the matter.  Government policy remains to support older people to live in dignity and independence in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. This objective is realised through various community based supports such as mainstream Home Help, enhanced Home Care Packages, Meals-on-Wheels and Day or Respite provision.

Our aim is to develop and improve community based supports where possible, taking account of wider reforms of the health service, overall resource availability, and the need for the HSE to meet its statutory budgetary obligations. Read the rest of this entry »

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