Top cancer surgeon quits job over lack of resources
A TOP cancer surgeon is to leave his post next month, claiming he no longer has the resources to take care of his patients.
Mr Kevin Moran, a distinguished urologist and general surgeon at Letterkenny General Hospital, tendered his resignation to hospital authorities and expressed his growing fear for the future of Urology services at the hospital.
Mr Moran has been 24 years in the post, but informed bosses of his decision to resign in December.
"I have taken the decision to resign as I don't have the resources to take care of my patients any more," Mr Moran said.
"I don't have access to beds, I don't have adequate access to operating theatres and I can't recruit and retain the junior staff and support staff that I need.
"The main issue is recruitment and retention. For example, to replace me takes a General Surgeon and a Urologist - two people - two disciplines - and while they're able to get a locum general surgeon I believe they will have a major difficulty recruiting a urologist.
"There's also a training issue. We had longer and more intense training. There were no quality of life issues, no weekends off. I'm not saying that that was right but the bottom line is that you ended up with surgeons who had greater experience and skill mix."
Mr Moran said there were major issues to be addressed and he not have "the answers".
"If there had been a been working environment whereby I would have been able to look after my patients and derived professional satisfaction then I would have happily seen out my career in Letterkenny," he said.
During his time in Donegal he established the Urology Service at LGH as well as the first breast clinic outside St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.
For the past five years he has been surgeon for the Donegal senior football team, the 2012 All-Ireland winners, after being recruited by Jim McGuinness.
The HSE has confirmed that a locum surgeon has been appointed to LGH on a short-term basis to replace Mr Moran.
The Saolta University Health Care Group says it will be working to appoint a permanent replacement for Mr Moran and a temporary general surgeon has been appointed for one year from the middle of April.
The group says it has advertised but the process may take some time.
Now, Moran is worried about how his workload when patients will be handed over to a colleague when he leaves his post next month.
He explained: "I've 425 men with prostate cancers and 160 men and women with bladder cancers that need to be followed up. Extensive discussion have taken place with Mr Eamonn Rogers (Lead Urologist for Saolta, the new health care group that manages LGH) who is making every effort to make sure that these patients are not adversely affected by the imminent interruption of the service.