Co-operating for Cancer Care NorthWest, CCC(NW), and Donegal Action for Cancer Care, (DACC) met with Minister of Health Simon Harris this week in a bid to find solutions to the cancer care issues in Donegal.
The groups were joined in the meeting on Monday, March 13th, by representatives from the Department of Health and from the National Cancer Control Programme, (NCCP), along with Senator Padraig MacLochlainn.
The purpose of the meeting was to follow up on progress regarding the retention and development of cancer services in Letterkenny University Hospital with particular reference to breast cancer services.
Both Minister Harris and Jermone Coffey, Director NCCP fully acknowledged the sterling work of the Breast Team in LUH.
They committed to the appointment of a second breast surgeon based in LUH, to resolve the issue of difficulties experienced at the hospital.
In the short term, action will be taken to provide extra clinics to address the escalating waiting lists for women awaiting appointments to see the breast surgeon. These will be arranged by the NCCP and Saolta.
CCC(NW) and DACC are cautiously optimistic that Minister Harris and the NCCP will actively engage with Saolta and the HSE to finally resolve the difficulties experienced by breast services in LUH and the patients it serves.
Minister Harris has instructed that a meeting to include CCC(NW); DACC; NCCP; Saolta and Donegal Oireachtas members be held in the next couple of weeks in LUH to further discuss cancer services in LUH. A further Department meeting to include all stakeholders will be re-convened in July/August to evaluate progress made.