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FG to extend cervical jab scheme
[Posted: Tue 01/02/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Fine Gael in Government will extend the cervical cancer vaccination scheme to all girls in secondary school, the party's health spokesman Dr James Reilly has pledged.
Dr Reilly told irishhealth.com that Fine Gael would provide the HPV vaccine that prevents cervical cancer to girls in first year and sixth year at secondary schools for the next three years.
At present only girls in first year of secondary school are offered the vaccine under the scheme introduced by former Health Minister Mary Harney.
Fine Gael says its extension of the vaccine scheme from next September will mean that girls entering secondary school over the next three years and those already in school who have not yet received the jab will be vaccinated.
Dr Reilly pointed out that it was already policy in the UK and other countries to give the cervical cancer jab to all girls from 12 -18 years.
He said the money would be found for extending the vaccine scheme, but the money involved would be relatively small, at around €3 million extra per year.
Dr Reilly told irishhealth.com that Fine Gael also intended to abolish Mary Harney's controversial prescription charge for medical card patients and would also scrap the former Minister's hospital co-location plan.
He said the party in Government would change the role of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF). At present, the NTPF provides private treatment for patients on public waiting lists.
Dr Reilly said Fine Gael would intend to use the public hospital system more to deal with waiting lists.
However, he said the NTPF now had considerable experience of procuring services and could play a role in Fine Gael's 'FairCare' universal insurance system, where 'the money will follow the patient.'
Fine Gael will launch its health manifesto shortly.
At present, the party's website states that "FairCare' is currently being updated.
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