I have called for immediate action to help cancer patients access treatment at Galway University Hospital (GUH).
It has come to my knowledge that there are no beds available for multiple patients scheduled for cancer treatments at GUH. And this includes chemotherapy treatment.
These scheduled treatment are essential to patients who are battling cancer. It is a frightening situation to be simply told that they cannot be seen by the hospital. Or that the hospital cannot even provide a date when they will see them.
Only recently, we learned that University Hospital Galway has the second-highest number of people waiting on trolleys in the state.
There are currently 52 people waiting on a trolley to access a bed. And we now know that others are waiting at home for essential scheduled inpatient treatments.
Despite the excellent healthcare delivered by committed frontline staff, a lack of capacity in the system is failing patients.
Even before Covid, crucial targets in the National Cancer Strategy were missed relating to timely access to important treatments. These include diagnostics, surgery, radiotherapy and screening.
The government needs to immediately Kickstart National Cancer Strategy. It needs to increase funding for National Cancer Control Programme. And it needs to provide additional funding to catch up on missed cancer diagnoses and care and treatment.