I am committed to ensuring the BreastCheck service is rolled out to the remaining regions as quickly as possible. I have allocated additional revenue funding of €8 million for this year to meet the additional costs involved and I have approved an additional 69 posts for the roll-out. BreastCheck appointed the clinical directors for the south and west last November and has recently appointed three consultant radiologists, two consultant surgeons and two consultant histopathologists, all of whom have a special interest in breast disease. The recruitment of radiographers and other staff is under way.
I have also made available an additional €26.7 million in capital funding for the construction of two new clinical units and the provision of five additional mobile units and state-of-the-art digital equipment. The static units at the South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital, Cork and University College Hospital, Galway are on schedule for hand-over in September, followed by a three-week commissioning period and will be operational in October.
Screening in individual counties will be dictated by BreastCheck's management and operational considerations. In advance of the commissioning of the static unit in the south, BreastCheck is making every effort to achieve earlier roll-out through the use of a mobile unit. Early deployment of a mobile unit in advance of the completion of the regional screening unit gives rise to particular and unique operational and recruitment challenges for BreastCheck in the south. At present, these challenges have not been overcome and as a result it is not possible to indicate when an early mobile unit will be deployed. BreastCheck will continue to make every effort to achieve early deployment in the south.
As regards the west, about which Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked, the roll-out is to commence in April.