Written Answers. - Cancer Treatment Services.

Enda Kenny


644 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Health and Children his decision on the report of the National Cancer Forum regarding the retention of the breast cancer unit at Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, County Mayo; if this particular unit will not be diminished in status but will be allowed to develop and expand services and to continue working in co-operation with the specialist cancer unit at University College Hospital, Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20537/00]

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I have received the report of the sub-group of the National Cancer Forum on the development of services for symptomatic breast disease. I have considered this report, and while having taken no final decisions on its implementation, I accept the broad thrust of its recommendations. However, some further refinements are needed in relation to implementation arrangements at local level. In this regard, I have recently announced the establishment of an advisory group, to be chaired by Professor Niall O'Higgins, St. Vincent's Hospital, to assist and liaise with health boards in formulating their plans for the development of specialist breast cancer services. I am confident that the development of symptomatic breast disease services which will result will greatly enhance the quality of the services available to the women of Ireland.