Step forward for North West radiography unit
Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the meeting today of the North South Ministerial Council Meeting in which the campaign to situate a radiography unit in the North West has taken a step forward.
Mr McCartney said,
"The meeting today in Dublin Castle attended by Sinn Féin Minister Michelle Gildernew discussed Health and Food Safety. Amongst the items discussed was the provision of cancer services for the future and it was agreed that amongst this provision would be a radiotherapy unit for the North West. This is a major step forward in this campaign and the news that a decision to announce the site of this unit should be made within 6-12 months will allow a focus to be concentrated in ensuring that it is opened as soon as possible
"Sinn Féin has campaigned long and hard on both sides of the border to have cancer services situated in the North West region. Not only was it central to our recent election manifestos in Irish election and Assembly election but is also a main demand in our Stand Up For Derry campaign.
"This decision although long overdue is welcome news indeed and I would like to see the radiography unit in place as soon as possible. People in the North West region suffering from cancer had previously faced the long journey to either Dublin or Belfast for treatment.
"Not only were these journeys long and tiresome but meant that patients requiring longer treatments were away from the support of family and friends during these testing times.
"This centre which will treat patients not only from Donegal and Derry but Tyrone Fermanagh and Sligo areas as well highlights the benefits of addressing problems on an all Ireland basis
"The North West region has one of the highest cancer rates on the island of Ireland and while this new unit will undoubtedly save lives with early detection and expert treatments we need to look at the causes of cancer and eradicate them if we are defeat this awful disease." ENDS