Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (160)

Eugene Murphy


160. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health if proposals by a person (details supplied) to develop a radiation oncology department at Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore, will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7596/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The provision of radiation oncology services in Ireland is governed by the National Plan for Radiation Oncology. The National Plan set out the projected infrastructure and equipment required to meet the needs for radiation oncology over a 20 year period.

Radiation oncology is available in five public hospitals: St. James's Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital Rathgar (which three together form the St. Luke's Radiation Oncology Network, Dublin), Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Galway. Radiation oncology services for public patients are also provided in two private facilities in Waterford and Limerick under the aegis of Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Galway respectively. Meanwhile, patients from the North West can receive radiation oncology treatment at the North West Cancer Centre in Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Derry.

The model of care for radiation oncology allows for the sufficient volume and concentration of activity and expertise to facilitate high quality radiation oncology treatments in line with best evidence and international best practice. Modern radiation oncology is increasingly complex. Delivery of such complex care requires several key components to ensure safe, high quality radiation therapy. These include appropriate physical infrastructure and equipment to meet the needs of both patients and staff, a highly trained multidisciplinary team including specialist doctors, nurses, radiation therapists, physicists and other health and social care professionals and a system of quality assurance that can ensure that radiation oncology services are safe, effective, equitable, efficient, timely and centred on the patient's needs.

Future planned developments for radiation oncology services include the construction of new and upgraded facilities in Galway and Cork and the expansion of the facility in Beaumont. In line with the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 and the National Plan for Radiation Oncology, it is not intended to establish a centre for radiation oncology in the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore.