A new HSE policy is to be introduced tomorrow, which will cut entitlements breast cancer patients could once avail of post-mastectomy.
As it stands currently, women are supplied with a breast prosthesis and are provided with two surgical bras. Moreover, if she has a medical card she is entitled to two surgical bras each year, and if required, a new prosthesis.
However, the new policy means that women will not be given surgical bras, other than the ones provided upon leaving the hospital. It also means that for one breast prosthesis every two years, patients will only be entitled to an allowance of €67.50.
There will also been changes regarding the supply of hairpieces and wigs, which will be provided once-off, with a maximum voucher of €440 provided to purchase a hairpiece or wig.
The Irish Independent report that the HSE have said that there is no “cost cutting aspect” to the new policy.
“There is no cost cutting aspect to the new guidelines introduced by the HSE in June for post mastectomy products and wigs/hairpieces.
“These new policies are part of a wider improvement programme that ensures all patients across the country have equal access to services.
“Previously some areas had limited or no services whilst others had an unlimited access. The policies were introduced to ensure standard guidelines and equal and consistent access based on a patients’ need and not their geographic location.
“The new policy now extends access on an on-going basis to all women for post mastectomy products – previously these products were only accessible to medical card holders.”