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Expressions of interest for new NSAC Chair being sought

By Reporter - 19th May 2023

Department of Health

A call for expressions of interest for the role of Chair of the national screening advisory committee (NSAC) has been made.

The term of office of the current Chair of the committee, Prof Niall O’Higgins, will come to an end in June 2023.

The term of office of other members who were appointed in 2019 will also come to an end in October 2023. The secretariat will work with the Minister for Health to fill those vacancies in 2023.

In his foreword to the NSAC’s Annual Report 2022, Prof O’Higgins states: “As I complete my term as Chair, I wish to pay tribute to the committee members, past and present, and to thank them for their commitment, skill and determination, both in the early stages during the development of structures and procedures and later during the more active analysis of submissions. The part played by each member is appreciated by me as Chair and by everyone who has had any involvement with the committee.”

In 2022, the committee made two recommendations: To add all types of severe combined immunodeficiency to the national newborn bloodspot screening programme, and to implement a clinical guideline in the BowelScreen programme to align it with clinical practice across the symptomatic service in the HSE. Both of the recommendations were accepted by the Minister.

“We are now at a crucial stage in the development of population-based screening policy, including cancer screening,” Prof O’Higgins said.

“Updated European Council Recommendations on cancer screening will involve consideration of modifications to our current cancer screening programmes and the introduction of new programmes.”

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