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Tag Archives: Government

BreastCheck age extension welcomed

The Irish Cancer Society has welcomed the decision, outlined in Budget 2015, to make the necessary investment to ensure that BreastCheck is extended to women aged 65-69. “Since 2011, the Irish Cancer Society has been campaigning for women between the ages of 65-69 to be screened for breast cancer,” said Kathleen O’Meara, head of advocacy and communications at the Irish Cancer Society. One in ten of all breast cancers occur in the 65-69 age group. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) says that quality screening mammography carried out every two years in women who are 50-69 years of age should reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by about 35%. This means that one life will be saved for every 500 women screened. “Last month, the Irish Cancer Society highlighted the fact that extending BreastCheck to the 65-69 age group would save a minimum of 87 lives a year. We considered this to be a priority issue …

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Free BreastCheck for women 65-69

The HSE is making budgetary provisions for Free BreastCheck mammograms for women in the 65-69 age group next year, it has emerged this Monday. Following  correspondence with Tony O’Brien, national director of the HSE, Deputy Kieran O’Donnell has received formal confirmation from the HSE that his proposal to extend Free BreastCheck mammograms to women in the 65-69 age group is now forming part of the HSE’s budget process for next year. “I am very pleased with this confirmation from the HSE. It’s a crucial step along the road to extending BreastCheck to women aged 65-69. It follows a commitment I previously got from the Minister for Health in the Dáil that free BreastCheck monitoring will be extended to women aged 65-69 during the lifetime of this Government. “What the HSE is now effectively saying is that the HSE has made a business case to the Department of Health to extend BreastCheck to women aged 65-69, and the HSE has included the …

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Housing action protest at Dáil

Trade unions, political parties, community groups and campaigns will participate in a housing action protest on this Tuesday at the Dáil. The protest will take place at 6PM and is endorsed by Mandate Trade Union, People Before Profit, the Anti-Austerity Alliance and Housing Action Now. It will target in particular the Government’s proposed Housing Assistance Payment Scheme. “Under the legislation those in receipt of the new Housing Assistance Payment will be removed from the social housing waiting list. There has been a 92% drop in social housing construction since 2007 and Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan intends to build just 700 new homes for the 90,000 families on the waiting list. This legislation is being introduced to cut the waiting list by another means. Fine Gael and Labour are shirking their responsibility to provide adequate levels of social housing and instead choosing to prop up private landlords,” said spokesperson, Councillor  Karl Gill, People Before Profit – Dun Laoghaire “There are further concerns that …

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Dooley critical of inaction on mobility allowance grant

Clare Fianna Fáil TD, Timmy Dooley TD has deplored the Government’s failure to make any attempt to replace two support schemes for people with disabilities that were discontinued last year. The Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant were closed to new applicants from February 2013. The Government promised last June that these schemes would be replaced. “There was outcry when the Government discontinued these two important supports for people with disabilities were cancelled last year. Almost 400 people in the Mid West are dependent on the Mobility Allowance alone. They are still in limbo as the Government drags its heels on establishing alternative support schemes. It is completely unacceptable that a year later, these people are still waiting,” said Deputy Dooley. “The Government first announced the cancellation of these schemes early last year, describing them as ‘obsolete’. It caused great distress among people with disabilities who depend on such support to maintain a level of independence. The Mobility Allowance …

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Dooley criticises changes to LEADER

Clare TD Timmy Dooley has criticised the Government for “unnecessary changes to the LEADER programme”, which he says is underming the sizeable amount of voluntary effort that is involved. “The vast majority of people involved with LEADER companies in Clare and throughout the country have expressed their opposition to Government changes to the programme, which they feel is undermining the considerable community effort involved. For instance, by publishing the expenses and salaries of those employed in LEADER companies, it suggests that the administrative costs are out of kilter with the work that is being done,” the Fianna Fáil deputy said. Deputy Dooley claimed the change of Government policy towards LEADER companies fails to take account of the huge voluntary effort in communities throughout Clare. “In fact, in comparison with every other state entity, the benefit to the local communities far outweighs the costs. The hard work that is done by everyone involved in LEADER companies is being undermined by the …

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Clare tourism to suffer as Government delays funding

FIANNA Fáil TD for Clare and spokesperson on Tourism, Timmy Dooley has accused the Government of holding back funding for storm repairs in County Clare. Towns like Lahinch, Kilkee and Doolin were severely battered by Storm Darwin back in February and communities are now working on the restoration effort before the busy summer season. However, Deputy Doley said there are now concerns about the level of fundingbeing made available by the Office of Public Works. “This winter saw some of the most severe storms in recent history hit the west coast, damaging homes, businesses, roads and other essential infrastructure.  Since the end of February work has been underway to repair all the damage, however the Government funding of €16 million falls well short of the mark,” Deputy Dooley maintained. Clare County Council has estimated that the damage will cost almost €37 million to repair, but the Government has allocated less than half of that for the work. “Minister Hayes’ short-sightedness …

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Barnardos’ cautious welcome for health initiative

THE  formal launch  on Wednesday of the Government’s plan for delivering universal health insurance, promising all Irish people access to healthcare based on need and not ability to pay, has been welcomed by Barnardos.  The children’s charity has  warned, however, the plan must not be thwarted before it has begun by unrealistic budgeting. Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos, said, “We welcomed the Government’s vision to reform healthcare in Ireland in 2011 and continue to believe this vision will serve all children and families far better than the current system. It is the most radical reform of the delivery of health services in years and aims to establish a more equal and equitable system which is well needed and long overdue. “Budget 2014’s pledge to introduce free GP care for the under sixes was a small step in the right direction, but was operating in a policy vacuum. This White Paper on Universal Health Insurance must be translated into equal access to …

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Government approves plan for homelessness

THE Government has this Tuesday approved significant measures proposed by the Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, to implement a housing-led approach to homelessness. The measures approved by Government follow on from the recommendations of the Homelessness Oversight Group which presented its first report to the minister in December. Minister O’Sullivan said, “There was full support among Cabinet colleagues today for the proposals I brought to Cabinet. There has been considerable pressure on homelessness services in recent months and it is vital that we bring a very focused approach to tackling homelessness and rough sleeping. “I believe that long-term homelessness can be eliminated by 2016. To achieve that goal it is vital to source a steady supply of suitable permanent accommodation. That is an essential part of a housing-led approach to homelessness. We will now put in place a practical plan to access this accommodation and support people in new tenancies. This will result in the closure of expensive …

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