A new Rapid Access Prostate Cancer Clinic will open at Letterkenny General Hospital in three weeks. Donegal North-East TD Joe McHugh received confirmation on Thursday last on the matter from the Minister for Health, James Reilly.
“A new Rapid Access Prostate Cancer Clinic will open at Letterkenny General Hospital on Friday November 4. This clinic will be incorporated with the University College Hospital Galway, and will cater for at least 150 Donegal men every year.
“Fine Gael campaigned in the 2011 General Election for a mandate to deliver health services in the community, whilst maintaining best practise.
“Currently, Donegal men referred to the Rapid Access Prostate Clinic in Galway must travel back and forth between the two counties at least four times before a diagnosis can be made.
“This new Letterkenny clinic will eliminate this journey time for Donegal patients and will facilitate diagnosis and treatment in the local community.
“I would like to compliment Letterkenny General Hospital’s leadership for working to secure this service, which was coordinated by Mr Eamon Rogers, Consultant Urologist, UCHG.”
Minister Reilly added: “This government is committed to delivering excellent care as near to the patient as is practicable.
“Letterkenny’s new Rapid Access Prostate Cancer Clinic will facilitate this and the men of Donegal can rely on rapid diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.”
Meanwhile Betty Holmes, Donegal Action for Cancer Care has released a statement saying they were delighted with the announcement.
“DACC have campiagned for this service to be at LGH initiallly with Prof Tom Keane in 2009 and have kept it on our agenda both locally and nationally since.Indeed we raised this with Minister James O’ Reilly when we met in July this year. It has been a question at every meeting we have been at since 2009. This is another great service availble close to home for the men of Donegal. Men had to be in Galway for 9am to facilaite the pre procedure work allowing sufficent time for recovery prior to their clinic discharge and then endure the long journey home.It is important that now ensure that budget cuts are not allowed to destablise other cancer services at the hospital,” she said.
Co-operating for Cancer Care (NorthWest) have also reacted to the announcement.
“CCC(NW) have during meetings with Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health; Dr Susan O’Reilly Director of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and locally with HSE West management, highlighted the difficulties men experience when accessing the RAPCC in Galway. CCC(NW) have long lobbied for a local assessment prostate cancer clinic in Letterkenny General Hospital.
Said Noelle Duddy, Spokesperson, CCC(NW), “This is very good news for Donegal men. To date Donegal men referred to a RAPCC have had to travel to Galway or Dublin for assessment and diagnosis. This new clinic will eliminate these often stressful and time consuming journeys. CCC(NW) is pleased that the NCCP is delivering on its commitment to providing cancer care as near to the patient’s home as is practicable. We wish the new service the very best and we encourages men to make an appointment with their GP should they have any health concern.”