The Chief Operating Officer of the Saolta Hospital Group has said he will meet with Consultant Breast Surgeon Michael Sugrue to discuss his concerns about the future of the Breast Cancer service at Letterkenny General Hospital.
There has been growing speculation about the service for some weeks, and the extent of Mr Sugrue's concerns became clear in a letter circulated to GPs in recent days.
This morning, on the Shaun Doherty Show, Mr Sugrue said he was being prevented from doing his job in a way which he believes is geared to force his resignation. He also made it clear a second breast surgeon is necessary to keep the service viable.
Saolta COO Tony Canavan, who said he will meet Mr Sugrue when he visits Donegal next week denied that anyone is trying to force his resignation. However, Mr Canavan was adamant that a second breast surgeon will not be appointed, and on this morning's Shaun Doherty Show, he outlined why...........
Text of letter sent to GPs by Mr Michael Sugrue -
Letter From Mr Michael Sugrue, Consultant Breast Surgeon Letterkenny Hospital - Please share
Dear GP Colleague,
It is with great regret that I have to write to you to advise you of the battle that we are fighting to save the Breast Service and ensure that Breast Care is available in the region. We have had a capacity problem with increase in referrals. I hope that the service the team have provided has been good. we have been please with our results and outcomes. However below I outline our increasing fragmentation at the hands of the Saolta Group
We know that currently ladies in the North West already present with more advance stage of Breast Cancer than international standards. Making them travel to Galway will make this worse, coupled with the ridiculous situation of someone in Galway offering appointments for GP referrals from Donegal.
The Ladies of the North West Breast Unit in Letterkenny need your support. I have asked to speak on this issue at the next clinical society meeting
With great sadness
Major Problems; Proposals re to Close/downgrade
•Their proposal to close the unit in September 2014
• The transfer of referral letters to be centrally appointed in Galway against the wishes of the Letterkenny Unit –Directive Feb 19th
• Refusal to appoint a second surgeon
• Appointing Donegal patients in Galway starting last week
Failure to provide mammograms from Breast Check
• Deceptive. subtle isolation and fragmentation attempts to break unit
•Failure to allocate a list to Letterkenny surgeon for reconstructions in Galway
•Hampering or refusing to help in arrangements to get a Dublin breast surgeon to attend for extra clinics in February
• Galway surgeons with the exception of Mr Barry, have declined to do any breast clinics in Letterkenny
• Unilaterally stopped the Area wide team meetings
• Unilaterally cancelling the Away day combined breast day in Letterkenny in November