Sunday 21 January 2018

Major delays at rapid access prostate clinics

The prostate cancer diagnosis rate at the Mater is 37.8pc
The prostate cancer diagnosis rate at the Mater is 37.8pc
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Four in 10 men who are being referred to "rapid access" clinics to find out if they have prostate cancer are not being seen within the target time, it emerged yesterday.

The men should be assessed within 20 working days, but access to prostate cancer services continues to be poor in some centres, the HSE's latest performance report for May reveals. Waiting times are particularly bad in Limerick, Waterford and Cork.

The appointment of a new consultant urology oncologist in the south of the country has been approved and this should improve waiting times in the clinics in Cork and Waterford, it said.

A review of clinical processes and organisation is taking place in Limerick hospitals.

The numbers of men attending the clinics who are being diagnosed with prostate cancer, continues to be high - ranging from 37.8pc in the Mater Hospital in Dublin to 42.1pc in Galway and 42.3pc in Cork.

While the majority of people referred to the rapid access lung cancer clinics are seen within 10 working days, some areas are experiencing problems.

Just 25pc were seen within 10 days at the Cork clinic in May and the rate was 56.6pc in Limerick. The HSE said one in every five new patients attending lung cancer clinics nationally is regarded as an urgent case.

The lung cancer detection rate at the Mater Hospital clinic is 36.6pc and it is 35.5pc in St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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