TDs last chance to save cancer hospital

HEALTH Minister Mary Harney justifies her decision to choose St James’s Hospital as a cancer centre of excellence over St Luke’s in Rathgar on the grounds that “experts” advised her to do this.

I have the marks of these experts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Overall, the experts gave St Luke’s a weighted mark of 3,965. They gave 8,897 marks to St James’s.

Marks given for quality of cancer service delivery are unbelievable to me as a St Luke’s patient — 909 for St Luke’s as opposed to 1,362 for St James’s.

Patients were not consulted. We hear ad nauseam the mantra “best outcomes for patients”. Patients and their families say — Save St Luke’s.

Three of these experts were Irish public servants and three were based outside Ireland. The marks show the minister chose the “right” experts to get the decision she wanted.

Tomorrow, TDs debate the third stage of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill which will dissolve the board and transfer the land and all the assets of the hospital to the HSE. Pray that a few government TDs will have the courage to do what is right — put patients before politics — and support an opposition amendment which will save this existing centre of excellence.

Joe Guilfoyle

Chair – Save St Luke’s Campaign

Roncalli

Luke Wadding Street

Waterford

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