Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Hospice and Palliative Care needed immediately - Gildernew

14 September, 2006


Sinn Féin MP MLA Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has today called upon the Health Minister Paul Goggins to provide Hospice facilities in South Tyrone. Speaking after Cancer Choices event "Cancer in Rural Communities", at Dungannon Enterprise Centre, Michelle Gildernew has insisted such hospice facilities should be made available to rural communities.

Michelle Gildernew said:

"Hospices offer a specialised service. They provide assistance to the patient in an effort to control their pain and their symptoms. They are smaller and quieter than hospitals and they often work at a much gentler pace.

"The fact that there is no available service in South Tyrone is unacceptable. It is intolerable that cancer patients are subject to long journeys and prolonged stays along away from home.

"There is a need for an oncology unit in the constituency that can meet the demand for the full range of cancer treatment services, particularly pediatric oncology, and a demand that is regrettably expected to grow in years ahead.

"I have today called upon the Minister to provide assistance and funding to meet the demand for a hospice and the provision of palliative care in this constituency. The aim of palliative care is to relieve suffering and improve the quality of the living and dying for people whose disease cannot be cured. This type of care supports the principle that it is important for people to be given the opportunity to live out their days with meaning and as little distress as possible. It may complement and enhance disease-modifying therapy or it may become the total focus of care.

"Palliative care helps people receive the care they need in the surroundings they prefer. It can be provided at home, in a hospice, a long-term care facility or in a hospital. It is planned and delivered through the collaborative efforts of many people including the patient, their caregivers (family and friends) and service providers (cancer care team and community healthcare providers).

"Sinn Fein see these provisions as a priority and will ensure that the Minister addresses the need to improve cancer care provisions, not only in the constituency of Fermanagh South Tyrone, but across the 6 counties, in an effort to harmonise the Health services north and south of the border to achieve an all island health service" ENDS

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