Galway East Fianna Fáil TD Michael Kitt has demanded clarification from the Health Minister James Reilly and the HSE about the future of cancer services and warfarin clinics in East Galway.
Deputy Kitt was commenting on reports that oncology services and warfarin clinics are to be removed from Portiuncula and Ballinasloe, in what Deputy Kitt has described as an “ill-conceived and short-sighted move”
“This makes absolutely no sense,” said Deputy Kitt. “It is my understanding that the necessary drugs to continue to treat cancer and heart patients at these two units have been bought and are in place. These patients and their families are now extremely concerned about the prospect of travelling long distances into Galway City for treatment and joining queues that are already too long.
“To remove patients from the treatment facilities in Portiuncula and Ballinasloe would be a mistake. We already have a chaotic situation in our health services in Co Galway, with concerns mounting over the implications of privatising hospital management at UCHG and a complete lack of information about how this will affect Portiuncula Hospital. Alongside all of this, the overcrowding crisis at UCHG is set to deepen in the winter months and the Health Minister James Reilly has refused to take direct action to alleviate the pressure on the hospital.
“Now on top of this we are hearing that cancer and heart patients will no longer be able to be treated at Portiuncula and Ballinasloe. This is deeply worrying at a time when our local health system is under enormous strain and patients are facing longer and longer waiting lists. I am calling on the Health Minister James Reilly to end this uncertainty and come clean with patients about the future of the oncology services and warfarin clinics in Galway.”