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Online campaign targets Harney over breast-care

Women are banding together with a tough online health campaign aimed at the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Health Minister Mary Harney in a bid to get better access to breast healthcare.

Strikingly named 'Two Tits and a Vote', the website hopes to turn Irish women into political campaigners who can pack a punch and get to the root of the current crisis in the health system.

The website, which prominently features a woman in a bra, with the headline 'Contents Stuffed: by the Health Service Executive', hopes to provide women with a forum to debate and campaign for issues relevant to them.

Women will be able to present their thoughts and opinions on the withdrawal of breast-care services for hospitals, as well as excessive waiting times, through the forum.

However, women deeply concerned about the issue will be able campaign through letters, postcards and a petition posted on the site. Those who wish to send a handwritten letter can download templates for letters to the HSE and local TDs, which are also posted on the site.

Its founder, Sabrina Dent, who is originally from the US but is now living in Cork, was prompted into action after hearing about various scandals relating to breast care in Ireland.

The new forum, she hopes, will create an army of political activists which will finally make policy makers stand up and listen, and, most importantly, act.

Health Minister Mary Harney is one of her prime targets.

"We are all speaking too politely about this issue and nothing is happening. I set this up because I felt that it was time to take a stand," Ms Dent told the Irish Independent.

"Like many women, I am very disappointed at the state of the health service and Mary Harney's involvement in it.

"What angers me is that if she finds a lump in her breast, I am sure that she would not have to wait for four months to get a diagnostic ultrasound appointment," she added.

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