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Breast cancer survivors to have same access to mastectomy financial supports – McGahon

22nd February 2024 - Senator John McGahon

Proposals to cut allocations for supports for breast cancer survivors have been reversed.

Senator John McGahon explained: “At present, breast cancer survivors are currently entitled to two post-surgery bras, one prosthesis, or two, if they have had bilateral surgery, one swimming prosthesis, or two if they have had bilateral surgery and one post surgery swimsuit.

“Under the HSE reforms, there were proposals to cut these allocations by over 50% to just €60 towards a post-surgery bra and €200 towards a prosthesis.

“I was first made aware of these reforms by Alison McCabe from Blackrock in County Louth who runs ‘Breastcare by Alison’, which provides a personal and professional post mastectomy specialist fitting service.

“On foot of this, I tabled an emergency debate in the Seanad and was very pleased with the Minister for Health’s response, when he was unequivocal that the proposed HSE reforms would be reversed.

“The announcement from the HSE had not been sanctioned and was not agreed by Government. The supports that are in place for breast cancer survivors remain and will not be changing.

“While I’m happy to report that there will be no changes to the financial supports provided to women, the news of these proposals caused widespread anxiety and concern to breast cancer survivors in County Louth and undoubtedly around the country. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened.” Senator McGahon continued.

“The HSE has let itself down by trying to push forward a reform that would have left cancer survivors less well off, without any political sanction or ministerial approval. I am really pleased that the Minister was so clear in his response and that women can be assured that same financial supports will remain, which is no less than they deserve.”

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