Tuesday 17 September 2019

Schoolboys to be offered HPV vaccine next year to cut risk of virus spreading


Guidance: Dr Peter Boylan will oversee abortion plan
Guidance: Dr Peter Boylan will oversee abortion plan

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

SCHOOLBOYS are to be offered the HPV vaccine from the beginning of the academic year in 2019.

The vaccine, which is already offered to teenage girls, provides strong protection against infection with the HPV virus.

This will help to reduce the circulation of the virus in the community over time, and cut the risk to both women and men.

Health Minister Simon Harris said it was included in a €9m package, which also included funding for the CervicalCheck screening programme.

Funding will be needed to roll out HPV testing in labs used by CervicalCheck from next year.

The service, which is due for a major overhaul in the wake of the recent scandal, will have to implement a series of changes demanded in the report of Dr Gabriel Scally.

The Budget also includes €12m towards the roll-out of the abortion law from January.

The funding must be split between community settings where GPs will provide medical abortions and hospitals.

A fee for the service, which will be free to women, has yet to be agreed with GPs.

Mr Harris said retired obstetrician Dr Peter Boylan would be overseeing the plan for implementation and the funding would be targeted to meet its various elements. There is also funding for the action plan on Women's Health.

A capital investment is to be made in eHealth, increasing investment by €25m next year.

Key areas that are being targeted next year include the implementation of electronic health records on a national basis.

Responding to the Budget, the Irish Medical Organisations said: "What this Budget means is that we are in standstill position in respect of delivery.

"Our health services will continue to struggle with rising demand, complexity of illness and with waiting lists."

Irish Independent

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