Data released by the HSE to the Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín shows that over 100,000 fewer women were screened for breast cancer in 2020 than were screened in 2019. Deputy Tóibín has called for urgent investments to make up for the pandemic shortfalls.
The HSE confirmed that 56,000 women were screened in Breast Check clinics last year (2020), compared with 170,000 in 2019. Breast Check screening was paused between March and October last year.
The deputy, says he stated it at the time, that the service should not have been paused. With any cancer early diagnosis and timely treatment is key to increasing survival rates, he argues.
The National Screening Service, in their letter to him state it is a year behind on screening appointments - "appointments in this screening round are delayed by up to a year. This means that if a woman was due to be screened in 2020, we are aiming to invite her in 2021; if she was due to be screened in 2021, we will now aim to invite her in 2022".