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Cancer survival rates an indictment of Harney's Health Record - Ó Caoláin

23 August, 2007


Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described Ireland's poor cancer survival rates as an indictment of Health Minister Mary Harney's record in Government. He is very critical of Minister Harney's failure to implement long promised improvements in cancer screening and treatment and to equitably deliver cancer care services throughout the State.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The results of a European survey show that despite being one of the richest countries in Europe, Ireland has one of the lowest cancer survival rates. This is an indictment of Health Minister Mary Harney's record in Government.

"Promises made in the National Strategy for Cancer Control, launched last year, have not been implemented, the national director to manage cancer services has not been appointed and the breast-check rollout to women in the West, North-West and the South has not yet materialised.

"Instead of rolling out essential cancer care services throughout the State, Minister Harney has presided over the stripping of important services from many of our acute hospital sites.

"The equitable delivery of cancer care services throughout the State along with improvements in screening and treatment is vital to improving cancer survival rates and I call on the Minister to ensure a speedy implementation of the National Strategy for Cancer Control.

"I would also call on the Minister to work closely with her corresponding Minister in the Six County Executive with a view to rolling out cancer care services on a truly all-island basis thereby ensuring equal access for all throughout the island of Ireland." ENDS

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