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Still no BreastCheck date for Donegal 18.02.08

A Donegal councillor has hit out at the ongoing delay in bringing the national breast cancer screening programme BreastCheck to the county.
Sinn Féin Councillor, Tony McDaid described the ongoing failure to roll out BreastCheck for women at risk of cancer in Donegal as "disgraceful" and said it was "further evidence of Donegal's neglect".
Cllr. McDaid said he wrote to Health Minister Mary Harney as far back as October 2004 that deaths from breast cancer in the North had been reduced by 4% on a yearly basis due to the availability of a screening programme.
"Now, here we are in 2008 and I can confirm that following a phone call to the BreastCheck head office, my colleague, Cllr. Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has confirmed that they are in not in a position to give a time frame for delivery to this county," said Cllr. McDaid.
"They have stated that they now have a "static unit" in Galway, that will branch out across the entire west of Ireland and that it will take two years to catch up with the backlog.
"The only hope given by BreastCheck for women between the ages of 50 and 64, at risk of breast cancer in Donegal, is for the delivery of "mobile digital units" when suitable sites are identified in the county. Again there is no timeframe at this stage for this." Cllr. McDaid said a major Donegal Action for Cancer Care protest could not be allowed to fall on deaf ears.
"In recent times, over 15,000 people marched on the streets of Donegal in the pouring rain to demand equality in cancer care. I want to send a clear message to Minister Mary Harney and her Government colleagues. The days of second class citizenship in Donegal have to end," he added.
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