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Delaying Surgery for Kerry Cancer Patients Outrageous - Ferris

22 April, 2004


North Kerry TD Martin Ferris today said that it is outrageous that cancer patients will have their surgery delayed because of the lack of government funding to Tralee General Hospital. He called on the Minister for Health, Mícheál Martin to take "immediate action" to address the ongoing crisis with funding and staffing problems in Tralee General Hospital. Tralee General Hospital was under funded by €2.5 million in 2003 and €1.25 million in 2004.

The Sinn Féin Deputy made his comments after receiving correspondence from a Consultant Surgeon in Tralee General outlining the various problems within the Hospital.

Deputy Ferris said:

"It is outrageous that cancer patients and elderly patients with broken hips will have their surgery delayed because the government hasn't given Tralee General Hospital enough funding. The hospital also has to close a ward for three months in the summer because they don‚t have the money to allow for staff stand-ins when they are on holidays. No non-urgent patients will be seen in outpatients during that period. Many of the 1200 patients waiting to be seen in outpatients have un-diagnosed cancers. This is totally unacceptable.

"The staff at Tralee General are becoming extremely disillusioned with this government and it is no wonder. I will be raising this matter with the Minister next week and I expect him to give immediate action not excuses. ENDS

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