Ms Harney said financial cuts had to be implemented at University HospitalGalway but this did not threaten the development of a cancer treatment centre of excellence there. “There is no more money available,” said Ms Harney.
“After all, 40% of the money we raised in income tax this year is going to the public health service. That, by any standards, is an incredible contribution.”
Galway University Hospitals — comprising UHG in the city centre and Merlin Park Hospital on the eastern outskirts — were instructed to make cutbacks of €15m this year, reducing their budget to €273m.
Cuts of €9m were carried out and hospital management told the HSE that any further cuts would result in frontline services being seriously affected.
However, Galway University Hospitals were instructed some weeks ago to find savings of €6m by the end of the year. Ms Harney said hospitals must find ways to live within their means.
Ms Harney was in Galway to launch the new National Rapid Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Service, with the first two Rapid Access Diagnostic clinics now open at Galway University Hospital and St James’s Hospital, Dublin.
The clinics provide men with quick access to medical teams to ensure they get a diagnosis as early as possible.
Around 2,400 men develop prostate cancer in Ireland, with 550 men dying from it each year.