Saturday 10 December 2016

Cancer strategy played into private interests

Published 11/07/2011 | 05:00

Alison O'Connor's piece (Irish Independent, July 9) on the people's unrest regarding the health service told many truths, not least that problems have been smouldering for some time. This despite the fact we were constantly being told that in (former health minister) Mary Harney, we had a steely minister hell-bent on taking on the "vested interests" as she built a health service we could be proud of. If only.

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Ms O'Connor tells a story of a friend recovering from surgery who is "comfortable in the knowledge that she is attending a centre of excellence and getting the best treatment available" and goes on to suggest, based on this, that the cancer strategy is a success.

Ms O'Connor is correct to then suggest the people of Sligo may disagree with any such conclusion. In fact, the cancer strategy was little short of a disaster for the people of the north-west, as they were confronted with the extra trauma of having to travel hundreds of miles to access treatment despite the fact that there already existed a cancer unit at Sligo General which was performing on a par with the best.

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