“Transfer of cancer services from Sligo has not worked” – Doherty

The Seanad has heard calls for Cancer services to be returned to Sligo General Hospital with claims that the move to Galway last year has been detrimental to patients.

The issue was raised by Senator Pearse Doherty, who claimed that since Cancer services were transferred from Sligo to Galway, people from South Donegal and Sligo have been forced to travel long distances for inferior care.

Pearse Doherty says that some patients are waiting up to six weeks for their first diagnostic appointment which is usually the first of a number of tests carried out to assess the patient and a necessary course of treatment.

These tests used to be carried out in a single day in Sligo and that the current delays run against everything promised by the National Cancer Strategy.

The Senator also claims there is confusion around the issue of follow-up care

Minister Harney made a commitment that patients from the North West who had treatment in Galway would be permitted to have their follow-up appointments in Sligo.

Senator Doherty says that instead patients are to have their follow-up examinations in the mobile Breast-Check clinic.

He says the only solution is for Cancer services to be returned to Sligo General Hospital.