Written Answers. - Cancer Screening Programme.

Róisín Shortall


101 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of women waiting for the national breast screening programme in the Northern Area Health Board; the average or typical waiting time in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4006/02]

BreastCheck, the national breast screening programme, commenced phase one of the programme in March 2000, covering the functional areas of the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the North-Eastern and Midland Health Boards. Screening is being offered free of charge to all women in those areas in the target age group 50 to 64 years of age.

BreastCheck has informed me that a total of 25,000 women have already been invited for scre ening in the Northern Area Health Board. Of those women invited for screening, 17,000 have accepted the invitation, all of whom have been screened. This represents a 70% uptake.
BreastCheck has issued a letter to a further 4,000 women informing them that the screening service is available and inviting them into the programme. Following receipt of their acceptance letter, an appointment date of between February and May 2002 will then issue to those women.
Letters will issue to a further 3,000 women in March and when acceptances are received they will be given a screening appointment between June and September 2002.