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"Harney must explain herself to cancer patients" - Ó Caoláin

19 January, 2007


Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on the Minister for Health and Children to explain to cancer patients why her plan for the roll-out of cancer treatment is now in disarray according to the HSE report leaked to Newstalk radio today. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"This leaked report will cause further distress to thousands of cancer patients and their families across the country. Having welcomed Minister Harney's announced plans for delivery of services, including radiotherapy, by 2007, they now find that the plan is being hampered and will not be delivered on time.

"This report raises a major doubt over the entire cancer strategy of the Government. Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney should now explain to cancer patients why her plan for the roll-out of cancer treatment is in disarray.

"The Dáil is returning next week to discuss the Health Bill. The Minister should use the opportunity to give a full report to the Dáil on this crisis in cancer care. She should put forward a revised plan, properly resourced, that will ensure delivery of these services on time and throughout the regions. Such a plan would have cross-party support and should be put in place without further delay. Cancer patients do not deserve more delays or political wrangles. They need delivery of services now."

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