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National Screening Service

The National Screening Service is reviewing the operations of the screening programmes due to the evolving situation with COVID-19. Our commitment to our service users and to their safety will continue to be our principal concern at this time.
Freephone information line: 1800 45 45 55

Welcome to the National Screening Service Website

The National Screening Service was established by the Minister for Health and Children in January 2007. The establishment followed the launch of a Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland 2006 (pdf file), which advocates a comprehensive cancer control policy programme in Ireland.

The Strategy examined prevention, screening, detection, treatment and management of cancer in Ireland in coming years and recommended the former Board of the National Screening Service.

The National Screening Service, now part of the Health Service Executive (HSE), encompasses four national population based screening programmes:

These programmes aim to reduce morbidity and mortality in the population through early detection of disease and treatment, both of which greatly improve health outcomes.

A screening test is designed for populations of individuals who do not have any symptoms of disease. It aims to identify those with a risk marker for a disease and ensure early treatment.

A screening test is not a diagnostic test, which is designed for individuals with symptoms of a disease or for those identified with a risk marker to assess whether they have it or to follow its progress.

Screening programmes internationally and in Ireland are based on a call /re-call system, where eligible populations are invited to take part and clinical services are provided for the further investigation and treatment of people identified as at risk of having or developing a disease.

Please visit the programme websites for more information on each of the programmes.

Media queries:
For media queries, please contact the HSE Press Office at or 01 9213912.