Fianna Fáil Senator and Dublin Rathdown general election candidate Senator Mary White has slammed the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar for the serious delays in the roll-out of BreastCheck to 65 – 69 year olds.
Speaking on the issue, she said: “The roll-out of BreastCheck to 65-69 year olds has seen a very modest start with only 1,000 women being invited to be screened in 2015. Despite the fact that the risk of cancer increases with age, the Minister for Health has confirmed that the full roll-out will not take place until 2021.
“Women who are 60-69 years old have the second highest incidence of breast cancer and the second highest risk of dying from it.
“At least eighty-seven lives are being lost to breast cancer every year due to the delay in screening the upper age group. That is a staggering 522 lives lost between now and 2021.
“The delays to this scheme are unforgivable and disrespectful to the women of Ireland.
“Irish women are dying unnecessarily because of this Government’s continued failure to make the service available to 65-69 year olds. It is imperative that women in the 65-69 age bracket are all screened as soon as possible,” she concluded.