THE RECENT media coverage of Jade Goody’s battle with cervical cancer has raised awareness among young women about the disease.
By Elisa O’Donovan, Socialist Youth Dublin
Shamefully, the government decided to scrap plans for a cervical cancer vaccination programme for all 12 year old girls as they would not pay a mere €10 million to save lives!
Mary Harney justified the scrapping of the cervical cancer vaccination programme by finally launching the long awaited national screening programme for cervical cancer. This is not a substitute for a free nationwide vaccination programme. Furthermore, the screening programme only allows free smear tests for those over the age of 25. As the case of Jade Goody, age 27, has highlighted, screening should begin at a much younger age.
Fine Gaels’ response is to make cervical cancer vaccinations available free of charge to 300 sixth-class girls in north Dublin, paid for by a consortium of businessmen. The lives of young women should not be treated as if they were in a lottery, relying on hand-outs from rich businessmen. This is an insulting and outrageous cheap and cynical move by James Reilly TD and FG.
Instead of bailing out banks and subsidising private healthcare, the state must provide vaccinations and screenings for free as the only acceptable way in which to save lives and eliminate tragic and unnecessary deaths from cervical cancer.