Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says the Government must honour the commitment it made to appoint a second breast cancer consultant to Letterkenny University Hospital. Fine Gael promised a second breast cancer consultant over two years ago, and repeated that commitment ahead of the General Election last year. However, we are still waiting for confirmation of this appointment.
Deputy McConalogue commented, “A second breast cancer consultant for Letterkenny University Hospital is an absolute necessity. There are over 3,000 new referrals to the Letterkenny Breast Cancer Unit each year, with around 90 cases requiring surgery and treatment.
“Despite promises to recruit a second consultant, this Government has failed to follow through. This is leading to excessive waiting times and could threaten outcomes for patients. There are currently more than 300 patients who are waiting longer than the 3 month target for new patients to receive an appointment. There are now real concerns that these delays and the lack of a second consultant are putting the future of the Breast Cancer Service at risk.
“Patients are fed up with broken promises – they want additional resources to support this essential service. I have written to the Health Minister to seek an urgent meeting of all the stakeholders – Letterkenny University Hospital, the Saolta Hospital Group, the Department of Health; and National Cancer Control Programme. We need answers as to why the commitments given by Government have not been followed through and to ensure that a recruitment process for a second breast cancer consultant is approved without delay”.