I propose to take Questions Nos. 279, 307, and 308 together.
The Government's objective is to provide a model of cancer care which ensures that patients with cancer receive the most appropriate and best quality of care regardless of their place of residence. In order to achieve this objective, an integrated and co-ordinated approach to the allocation of resources for designated transport and accomodation for patients receiving radiotherapy treatment is required.
As recommended in the report, The Development of Radiation Oncology Services in Ireland, the national radiation oncology co-ordinating group has been established. The group comprises clinical, technical, managerial, academic and nursing expertise from different geographic regions. The group's remit encompasses recommending measures to facilitate improved access to existing and planned services, including transport and accommodation. The group has consulted with the Eastern Regional Health Authority and all health boards in relation to the current transport arrangements for radiation oncology patients. The group is expected to develop proposals in this area at its next meeting, which is due to take place in November.