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Deep disappointment that Minister Martin refused to give a timeframe regarding Radiotherapy Services for the Southeast

15 September, 2004

Sinn Féin Councillor David Cullinane has expressed deep disappointment that following a cross party delegation of Waterford City Council who met the Health Minister yesterday, that he refused to give any real time-framed commitment on Radiotherapy Services for the Southeast. Cllr Cullinane who formed part of the delegation said that the Ministers commitments where clearly "aspirational".

Cllr Cullinane said:

The meeting with the Minister yesterday allowed for a full and frank exchange of views. The delegation made key demands such as immediate development of a Satellite Radiotherapy Unit for the Southeast as part of the first phase of implementation of the Hollywood report. The delegation also demanded immediate designation of resources for patients travelling for Radiotherapy and for the implementation of a plan for a dedicated Haematology/Oncology Unit at Waterford Regional Hospital.

While the Minister stated that it was government policy to have a satellite unit in Waterford he would not be drawn on any real time-scale. In fact there is no evidence to suggest that at any level the Minister is planning to provide such a unit in Waterford to cater for the Southeast. It is no longer good enough for the Minister to simply say it is government policy that a satellite unit will be provided without providing any budgetary provision.

It is my view that the Ministers stated commitment on a Satellite Unit is Œaspirational‚. The 20,000 people who marched earlier this year in Waterford will not accept ambiguous commitments. It is important that the campaign intensifies and the government receives a very clear message that the people of Waterford and the Southeast will not accept fudge. What we want is delivery. ENDS

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