Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Harney and Drumm commitments can’t be taken seriously

6 March, 2008

Speaking after participating in today's Oireachtas Health and Children Committee meeting Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

"Minister Harney and Professor Drumm's commitments that the Midlands cancer diagnosis scandal will not happen again cannot be taken seriously in the light of their failure to address the ever extending waiting times, now up to 18 months, for vital cancer tests such as colonoscopy as exposed earlier this week.

"I asked the Minister to justify her statement that these delays would be effectively addressed now that the new consultants' contract is supposedly in place. I asked where and when and how many consultants will be allocated to this work- for example colonoscopy - and what is the target and timetable for reduction of waiting times. Neither the Minister nor Professor Drumm were able to supply satisfactory answers.

"The three reports on the Midlands cancer scandal expose how patients were treated with cavalier disregard by the health service. Their right to proper care and to information about their care was denied to them. Lessons must be learned but the reality is that current cutbacks being imposed by the HSE under Minister Harney are denying patients their right to care as we speak." ENDS

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