Additional €760,000 for screening services

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Health Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly has announced an additional €760,000 in funding for screening services through the Women’s Health Fund.  

The latest allocation from the Women’s Health Fund will see investment in research, innovation, and supports for women in at-risk populations, including:  

  • Addressing low uptake in BowelScreen for women in at-risk populations  
  • Piloting a new national screening pathway for women with diabetes who become pregnant  
  • Listening and responding to women’s experience of BreastCheck  
  • Diabetic RetinaScreen pathway developed by clinical experts to help prevent sight loss for pregnant women with diabetes

Professor David Keegan, Clinical Director of Diabetic RetinaScreen said: “Women with diabetes who are pregnant are at higher risk of sight loss. This investment will allow a specific diabetic retinal screening pathway for patients who are pregnant. This new pathway improves equality and quality of access to eye care for women at risk of sight loss.”  


Professor Padraic MacMathuna, Clinical Director of BowelScreen said: “Bowel cancer is the third most common invasive cancer in women in Ireland – with a higher incidence than cervical and ovarian cancer*. If bowel cancer is diagnosed early, in most cases people can be treated more successfully and have better outcomes. Screening is a very effective way of reducing a person’s risk of developing bowel cancer. There is no doubt that this initiative will help us improve bowel cancer screening uptake in women in at-risk populations, and in so doing, improve patient outcomes.”  

Professor Fidelma Flanagan, Clinical Director of BreastCheck said: “BreastCheck has always been an early adopter of innovations for the benefit of our patients. The ability to capture in real-time women’s experience of the programme will allow us to design and direct our quality improvement efforts to the areas that women are telling us to. This digital technology allows us to expand on our commitments described in the BreastCheck Women’s Charter.”