Tuesday, March 16, 2010

éirígí claim BreastCheck staff shortages endangering womens live in north-west

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has accused the Fianna Fáil led administration and the Health Service executive (HSE) of putting the lives of women in the north-west at great risk. He was speaking in relation to staff shortages in the BreastCheck service in this region which are causing unnecessary and ultimately dangerous delays in screening women in order to detect breast cancer.

Casey said: “Each year, hundreds of women in the Twenty-Six Counties die from breast cancer, with thousands more diagnosed with it. In most cases, early detection of breast cancer makes a full recovery extremely likely and also lessens the traumatic effect on the patient of the entire treatment and recovery process.”

“Despite all the fanfare that greeted the long overdue arrival of BreastCheck to the north-west last year, the reality is that many women who are entitled to this essential service have yet to receive an appointment .”

He added: “In recent weeks we in éirígí have been contacted by a number of women who expressed grave concern over their failure to recieve an apointment for their screening. This is despite the fact that they received letters last July explaining that this service was now up and running. When contacted, the HSE said the delay in appointments was due to staff shortages in the BreastCheck service here in the north-west.”

“This is scandalous and a further insult to the women of the north west who had wait ten years after the roll-out of this service on the east coast before BreastCheck even commenced in this region. Now many women are being forced to wait an unacceptably long time to receive what is a potentially life saving service.”

The whole BreastCheck saga from its inception exposes the abject failure of this administration and the HSE to prioritise essential and potentially life saving services for people when needed. They are more intent on slashing staff numbers and services throughout the health sector, which has resulted in the removal of breast cancer services and ward closures at Sligo General Hospital. All this while they proceed with the implementation of their right-wing policies of privatisation and a two-tier health system rather than creating a first class and efficient health service based on medical need, available and accessible to all.”

“The scandal in recent days at Tallaght hospital where thousands of x-rays were left unreviewed merely serves to underline the lack of real concern for the health and well being of the population at large, particularly the patients and families who suffer unnecessarily because of such unjustifiable blunders, within both the HSE and the administration in Leinster House.”

He concluded: “The simple reality is that women in these counties may die unnecessarily from breast cancer as a direct result of this administration's policy and these delays. The HSE and their political masters need to immediately rectify the situation, end the delays and provide the necessary resources and staff to deliver the BreastCheck service to the women of the north-west speedily.”

No comments:

Post a Comment