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Government can and should Save St Luke's Hospital - McDonald

15 December, 2007

Speaking at this St. Luke’s Hospital Campaign demonstration Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald said that “it is totally unacceptable that government continues to pull the rug from under cancer patients and their families.”

Dublin MEP said:

“St. Luke’s Hospital as a provider of cancer care services in Dublin has an excellent reputation. It is this reputation that made it possible for the Friends of St. Luke’s to raise €22 million for the hospital.

“Any sensible administration with a modicum of sense and compassion understands that a consistently of care in a fully resourced environment is a critical to a cancer patient and their family. St. Luke’s Hospital provides this, in spades.

“There has been minimal consultation with the staff and patients on its proposed closure which is all the more aggravated by the Department of Health’s plan to move the hospitals services to St. James and Beaumont as part of the government’s co-location plans.  

“This government has had at their disposal resources undreamed of by any previous government. Yet they have presided over a failing, chaotic and inequitable health services. They have failed to meet the needs of the people at national, regional and local level. We now have a two-tier, disorganised, disjointed and ailing health service. And this Government’s main so-called solution is privatisation.

“I refute the misrepresentation by the Minister and the HSE chief when they claim that communities are opposed to centres of excellence. I have not heard anyone speaking in opposition to such centres. I have not heard anyone say that there should be centres of excellence for cancer at every hospital in the country.

 “What has been said and rightly said is that existing cancer services cannot and must not be taken away in the absence of centres of excellence. That is what this Government and the HSE are trying to do. St Luke’s Hospital is evidence of this disastrous government policy. St Luke’s delivers key cancer care services and should be supported and facilitated by government in getting on with its work.” CRÍOCH



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