Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (368)

John McGuinness

Question:

368. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that some cancer patients (details supplied) triaged as urgent are being informed that they must wait two years for appointments; if these patients can be fast-tracked for appointments in view of the fact that their condition is urgent; if they can be treated through the NTPF; the steps he is taking to resolve the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27454/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Rapid Access Clinics (RACs) for patients with suspected breast disease (symptomatic breast disease clinics), prostate or lung cancer symptoms were established by the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) in the eight designated cancer centres (with a satellite symptomatic breast disease clinic in Letterkenny University Hospital) in the period 2009-2012. Rapid Access Clinics provide multidisciplinary care for breast, lung and prostate referrals.

Target times, within which patients triaged as urgent should be seen, are in place for the Breast, Lung and Prostate clinics. The performance of each hospital in meeting these targets is monitored by the NCCP and reviewed at monthly meetings with the Department of Health. The NCCP liaises on an on-going basis with hospitals to identify measures that can be taken to improve performance, where necessary.

As the Deputy's question relates to a specific service delivery issue, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him.