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Regional cancer centres must be retained in the west – Ó Caoláin

25 October, 2007


Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has expressed his support for a protest march taking place in Sligo this afternoon and another taking place in Mayo at the weekend to demand the retention of the cancer network in the west of Ireland. Speaking today Deputy Ó Caoláin said the establishment of specialist cancer centres should not be at the expense of regional centres.

He said, "Under proposals to establish eight specialist cancer centres throughout the state some thirteen regional centres have been told to discontinue breast cancer surgery immediately while others including Mayo General and Sligo General have been asked to do so on a phased basis. This poses a significant threat to the cancer care network in the west of the country.

"While Sinn Féin has no problem with the establishment of specialist cancer centres throughout the state we are adamant that these should not be at the expense of any regional centres. Regional cancer centres provide essential care to patients in areas where poor infrastructure makes it difficult to get to specialist centres. For evidence of the importance of these centres one only needs to look at the 79 breast cancer related operations performed at Mayo General this year alone.

""I want to support and call on others to support the protest marches taking place in Sligo today and in Mayo on Sunday in opposition to the discontinuation of breast cancer surgery and the destruction of the cancer care network in the west of Ireland." ENDS

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