Dáil Éireann - Volume 605 - 28 June, 2005
Written Answers - Health Services.
Mr. Perry Mr. Perry
167. Mr. Perry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children when she plans to make funding available to the HSE north west region for the provision of radiotherapy treatment for persons in the north west; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21919/05]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
 Ms Harney:The Government is committed to making the full range of cancer services available and accessible to cancer patients throughout Ireland. To this end, we will provide considerable investment in radiation oncology facilities in the coming years.
The Government’s policy on radiation oncology is based on the report on The Development of Radiation Oncology Services in Ireland. It is important to build teams of highly expert clinicians working together to deliver top quality cancer care, including radiotherapy, to cancer patients. The Government is, therefore, determined to ensure access by cancer patients throughout the country to high quality radiation oncology in line with best international standards.
The immediate developments in Cork and Galway have resulted in the provision of an additional five linear accelerators. Two additional linear accelerators are being provided at the supra-regional centre at Cork University Hospital, CUH. The first of these linear accelerators was fully commissioned in March and the second is expected to be commissioned by the autumn. Two additional consultant radiation oncologists will be appointed at CUH with sessional commitments to the south-eastern and the mid-western areas.
Patients in the north-west are being referred for radiation oncology treatment to the recently commissioned radiation oncology department at University College Hospital Galway, UCHG, and also to St. Luke’s Hospital Dublin. A consultant radiation oncologist with significant sessional commitments to the north-western area has recently been appointed to UCHG.
I will meet the Minister for Health for Northern Ireland, Mr. Shaun Woodward, MP, shortly and I have asked that North-South co-operation on cancer services be put on the agenda. Discussions are on-going between the HSE and Belfast City Hospital in regard to access to radiation oncology services for patients in the North-West. My Department has asked the parliamentary affairs division of the Health Service Executive to advise the Deputy of progress on these discussions. The state of the art facility at Belfast City Hospital is scheduled to open in early 2006. The Government is as committed to delivering safe and effective cancer services for people of the north-west as we are for people in every region.
Dáil Éireann 605 Written Answers Health Services.