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Any review of the Governments National Cancer Strategy must be based on Equality

20 January, 2005

Sinn Féin Waterford City Councillor David Cullinane, commenting on reports that the current review of the Governments Cancer Strategy will further rationalize cancer services said this is wholly unacceptable. He said that any review must take into account the needs of cancer patients in all regions and be based on the principle of equality of access.

Cllr Cullinane said:

"I am extremely worried of reports in the media that a draft review of the Governments National Cancer Strategy will result in further rationalising of cancer services in this state. Reports that smaller centres in some regions will close without putting in place multi-disciplinary services with the three modalities of cancer treatment available in all regions is extremely worrying. If this is implemented it will have negative consequences for cancer patients in this region for years to come."

"Such a strategy would be fundamentally flawed. The building of 'super-regional' centres in Dublin, Cork and Galway is no substitute for proper regionalised cancer services in this state. If the government pursues such a strategy it will result in the closing of cancer services in Kilkenny, Wexford and Tipperary and put further pressure on Waterford Regional Hospital without putting in place extra resources. This would be a disaster for all cancer patients in the South-east and would rationalize best outcome."

"This cannot be allowed to happen. This would be a retrograde step and will result in rubber stamping inequality in cancer services in this state. Sinn Fein believes that equality of access for all cancer patients must be central to any review. We will resist any attempts by this Government to roll out Hanley on Cancer Care and will continue to fight for equality for all cancer patients. ENDS

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