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Shortage of life-saving chemotherapy drugs ‘beyond disgraceful’ – O’Reilly

18 May, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this afternoon, Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has stated that the evolving situation where cancer patients across the country are facing treatment difficulties due to a shortage of life-saving chemotherapy drugs is beyond disgraceful.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“The situation as it currently stands whereby there is a shortage of these lifesaving drugs due to the inability of a healthcare company to provide a full supply over the past two weeks is serious cause for concern.

“The result being that oncologists at several hospitals have had to readjust the treatment they are giving to patients with doctors in some cases having to give patients lower doses of the drugs than originally intended under their treatment plan.

“The fallout from such mismanagement is that patient care and safety is again seriously compromised. The net result of the recurring and ever evolving crisis in our health service is that patients are being put at risk; doubtless, the crisis is also costing lives too.

“The genesis of our health crisis is underfunding, under-resourcing, cutbacks in health services, and an overreliance on the private sector, and I have no doubt that all these issues were responsible for allowing this particular situation to develop.

“However, it would be amiss of me not to add that in this instance incompetence and mismanagement played a huge part.

“In no other walk of life would the failure of the HSE and the Minister for Health be tolerated, yet in roles where their decisions have a life and death impact such utter failure persists.

“Fine Gael might be in the midst of a leadership contest and Minister Harris might have some canvassing to do, but first and foremost he needs to do his job and address this issue immediately and explain to the patients affected, and the Irish people, how this was allowed to happen.” 

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