25/07/2019

New Members Sought For National Screening Committee - Ireland

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has announced a call for expressions of interest in membership of the National Screening Committee – Ireland.

The Committee will provide independent expert advice in evaluating the evidence population-based screening programmes in Ireland. In accordance with best practice and in order to ensure appropriate use of finite resources, the National Screening Committee – Ireland will:

• Effectively implement an agreed methodology for accepting applications to consider new or revisions to existing population screening programmes;

• Agree and implement a prioritisation process for the consideration of new or revised population screening programmes;

• Develop and implement a robust and transparent system to evaluate potential population-based screening programmes against a set of internationally recognised criteria;

• Clearly communicate the recommendations and the reasoning to the Department of Health, stakeholders and the public on the outcomes of their deliberations;

A wide range of expertise is being sought for the National Screening Committee and potential applicants are encouraged to read the information booklet carefully prior to submission of an application.

Making the announcement, Minister Harris said: "This is an important milestone following on my appointment of Prof Niall O’Higgins as Chair of the National Screening Committee. We know that carefully planned screening programmes can result in significant population health benefit but sadly we also know that even the best programmes will not be able to benefit every single individual.

"We need a strong independent voice to inform future policy and I have no doubt that the National Screening Committee will play a pivotal role in our continued education about population screening, its limits as well as its benefits."

The closing date for applications is 30 August 2019.

(MH/CM)

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