Save heel prick data – says Kelleher

Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher will move a Bill in the Dáil
today (Tuesday) aimed at preventing the destruction of important heel prick
data.****

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After raising the matter on Topical Issue debates in the Dáil two weeks
ago, Deputy Kelleher submitted a Bill on protecting heel prick data to the
Ceann Comhairle’s office last week. He was given the go-ahead on Monday to
introduce the Bill.****

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“I see that the Health Minister James Reilly has now ordered that these
important screening cards are not destroyed and that a review takes place.
While this is a welcome reprieve, I believe we need to resolve this matter
once and for all by means of legislation,” said Deputy Kelleher. ****

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“The *Retention of Newborn Screening Cards Bill 2013* is straightforward
and non-contentious. It seeks to amend existing data protection laws to
protect heel prick data.****

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“I strongly believe that the information contained in these samples taken
as part of the National Newborn Bloodspot Screening Programme is of vital
importance to the health of the nation. Consequently, such information
needs to be retained on a legitimate basis and as a matter of course.****

** **

“I urge Minister Reilly and his Government to take my proposals on board
and bring finality to this issue as soon as possible.”

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