Rally steps up pressure for radiotherapy service

THE pressure on government to deliver radiotherapy for Waterford and the South-East will step up a gear with a major rally in support of cancer services scheduled for Waterford within the next fortnight.

An appeal has been made for as many members of the public as possible to join in the public radiotherapy campaign for Waterford Regional Hospital as a march and rally takes place in The Square, Dungarvan on Friday week, June 24, at 3pm. Chairman and organiser Sean Kelly is urging as many people as possible from the West Waterford area to support the rally and join campaigners from the WRH Public Radiotherapy Campaign.

“This is an opportunity for the people of Tallow, Cappoquin, Ardmore, Lismore and all the other Towns and Villages from Ballymacarbry to Ballyduff and back to Clashmore, to come out in force young and old to make their public voice heard.

“We are calling on the generosity of the Business Community to support the rally by putting up posters of support and allowing staff time off to participate in the March,” he said. “We want to see the employees from all the workplaces; from the factories, the hospitals, from the farms; the public sector and the shops join in to give the political decision makers a loud clear message.”

He said the campaign has now built up a head of steam and nothing short of public radiotherapy for everyone, based at WRH, will satisfy the voting public.

“Human dignity must replace false promises. Our politicians must deliver instead of squandering millions.

“These same guys took 3,000 beds out of the hospitals a little more than 10 years ago. Now they wonder why the Health Service is in crisis.”

The Government has admitted that the radiotherapy issue has cost Fianna Fáil dearly so far.

Several city and county councillors lost their seats in the local elections. And earlier this week, local TD Brendan Kenneally said that the party would continue to lose if radiotherapy for all at Waterford Regional Hospital was not delivered soon.

The Department of Health says Health Minister Mary Harney is reviewing cancer services nationwide. Among the proposals she is considering for the Waterford area is a public private partnership deal at WRH proposed by medics at the hospital.

The group of medics proposes developing a private facility at WRH which could also offer radiotherapy to public patients. Such a move would mean all three elements of cancer care would be provided in the same campus.

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