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.

‘Parliamentary Questions’

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.

Cancer Screening Programme – Priority Question

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In a reply to a Priority Question on Cancer Screening Programme Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly siad: I am very pleased to confirm that the colorectal screening programme will commence, as promised, on a phased basis in the fourth quarter of this year. This delivers on a key commitment of the Government.

Colorectal cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among both men and women in Ireland. Approximately 2,200 new cases are diagnosed each year and it is cause of death in around 950 people each year. Colorectal screening works on two fronts: it provides early detection and therefore earlier and more effective treatment and it helps to prevent cancer in the first place by detecting pre-cancerous growths such as polyps. It is therefore imperative that the programme commences and continues on a sustainable basis. Read the rest of this entry »

Primary Care Centres – Priority Questions

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In a reply to a Priority Question on Primary Care Centres Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly siad: Early in 2012 the HSE embarked on a prioritisation exercise for primary care, PC, centres across the country. It is the intention of the Government to develop as many centres as possible by one of three separate methods: direct investment; by way of leasing arrangements; or by way of public private partnership. The locations were then considered for development by way of PPP as part of the Government’s stimulus package. Selecting the primary care centres under PPP was not – as is generally believed – done on the basis of one criterion, the deprivation index. Three criteria were deployed: the deprivation index for the catchment population of the centre; the service priority identified by each integrated service area-local health office; and an accommodation assessment which assessed accommodation available for the primary care team within the catchment area, the quality of the accommodation, and whether it was spread over more than one building. Read the rest of this entry »

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