Committee hears sharp criticism of Hollywood Report

The Oireachtas health committee has heard sharp criticism of the Hollywood Report on radiotherapy services for cancer sufferers.

The Oireachtas health committee has heard sharp criticism of the Hollywood Report on radiotherapy services for cancer sufferers.

The report, authored by Professor Donal Hollywood, called for specialised radiotherapy services to be located in Dublin, Cork and Galway only.

Dr Ian Fraser of St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin told the Oireachtas committee today that if implemented, the report would require a patient from Tullamore to spend five hours travelling to and from Dublin for just two hours of treatment.

He said the south-east of the country needed a treatment facility all of its own.

Dr Gordon Watson from Waterford Regional Hospital, meanwhile, said a "hub-and-spoke" system would be more desirable to prevent long journeys for cancer patients.

His comments were echoed by Dr Kevin Moran of Letterkenny General Hospital, who said the lack of treatment centres in the regions was having devastating effects on cancer patients.

"At the moment, because of the difficulties accessing radiation oncology, we have women who have breast cancers who are opting to have radical surgery rather than more conservative surgery because of the difficulties travelling to Dublin for their radiation," Dr Moran said.

"We have patients who have rectal cancers who have to wait for two to three months to have their radiation before their surgery can proceed."

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