Health Minister, Simon Harris has announced the membership of the National Screening Advisory Committee (NSAC), which will be chaired by Prof Niall O’Higgins, Professor Emeritus of Surgery, University College Dublin.
The Minister said the appointments follow an expression of interest for the expert roles which form the membership of the Committee.
Prof. O’Higgins said the members would bring a range of knowledge and experience to ensure the provision of independent advice on population-based screening programmes. A distinctive element was that the members had been appointed on the basis of their expertise and not because of representation or affiliation.
“The Committee will consider new proposals for screening and also revisions to existing programmes. Recommendations will be based on internationally-accepted evidence and verified standards of current best practice. Among the first functions of the Committee will be to establish a methodology for accepting applications and setting out a prioritisation process for recommended programmes.
“I am confident that with the strong support of the medical profession and the Department of Health the Committee can contribute to efforts to restore and sustain public trust and confidence in population health screening in Ireland.”
Members of the Committee are:
Dr Abigail Collins, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, National Cancer Control Programme, Dr John Ward, Consultant Radiologist, University Hospital Galway. Dr. Mary Codd, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCD, Dr Sheelagh McGuinness, Reader in Law, University of Bristol Law School, Dr Velma Harkins, General Practitioner, Offaly, Professor Andrew Green, Consultant in Clinical Genetics and Professor of Medical Genetics, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dr James O’Mahony, Assistant Research Professor, Centre for Health Policy and Management, School of Medicine, Trinity College, Martina Fitzgerald, Journalist, Irene Regan, Chief Medical Scientist, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, John Gleeson, Solicitor and former partner in Mason Hayes and Curran Solicitors, Dr Susan Kent, Assistant National Director, HSE and former Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health, Dr Keelin Donoghue, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Dr Ellen Crushell, Consultant Paediatrician with a special interest in Inherited Metabolic Disorders, Temple Street, Children’s University Hospital and Our Lady’s Children Hospital, Dr Paul D’Alton, Associate Professor Principal Clinical Psychologist, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dr Paul Kavanagh, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, HSE, Anne Burke (Public Voice), Jillian van Turnhout (Public Voice), Professor Michael Rigby, Professor Emeritus of Health Information Strategy, Keele University and Prof Ciaran O’Neill, Professor of Health Economics, Queens University Belfast.