The Waterford Whispers News satire site has addressed a serious issue affecting Donegal women.

Waterford Whispers are well known for taking a swipe at Irish life and current affairs. A story this week brings up the worrying waiting times at the North West Breast Centre in a humorous manner to highlight the frightening reality of the situation affecting local women.

An article titled ‘Breast Cancer Happy To Wait Without Spreading Until You Get Your Appointment’ looks at the extreme delays at Letterkenny University Hospital. One fifth of women who are referred to the Breast Centre, having shown possible symptoms of breast cancer, are expected to wait up to a year for an appointment at the clinic.

Waterford Whispers have tackled the issue this week by publishing a spoof statement from ‘Breast Cancer’ to say it is happy to stop progressing until women can get their appointments. This should come as a relief to the hundreds of women waiting to been seen, according to the article.

The article says ‘Breast Cancer’ has assured worried women who may have the disease that it is happy to stop developing and keep in time with the HSE delays.

“I mean, I’m bad, but I’m not ‘Irish health service bad’” stated the disease, one of the most common killers of women in the country.

“So yeah, if you feel a lump and your doctor puts you on a year-long waiting list, I’ll just fall back and relax for the 12 months. Don’t let me rush anyone!”

The article also provides a direct link to Minister for Health Simon Harris for people to bring the real issue up directly with him. – HERE.

Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty has brought these waiting times in Letterkenny to light after he learned that of the 732 patients referred to the service by their GP as having displayed symptoms of possible breast cancer, 143 of those have been waiting for over a year now for an appointment. A further 245 patients have already been waiting over 6 months to be seen.

Deputy Doherty called on the Minister for Health and the HSE to immediately provide supports at LUH to reduce the current excessive waiting times.

In a statement, he said: “This is understandably extremely concerning for all those who are waiting to be seen as, like the majority of cancers, early detection and treatment is crucial if we are to the best patient outcome possible and potentially survival.

“While I understand that a locum consultant surgeon is due to commence work later next month in an effort to meet current service demand, clearly much more is needed to ensure that patients here in Donegal are seen and treated in a timely and effective manner.”

Deputy Doherty put the question to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Tuesday, 4th July, asking what will the government do about local women’s lengthy waits.

“As a former Minister for Health, the Taoiseach will know the concern these women are experiencing, waiting this undue time. What will the Government do about this? Is the Taoiseach aware that another person in the clinic in question will be going on leave shortly? This delay is unacceptable and the Government needs to step in,” Deputy Doherty said.

The Taoiseach replied to say there is no promised legislation on this issue and told Deputy Doherty to question the Minister for Health for a detailed reply.