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SF accuses Govt of underfunding cancer services


Sinn Féin has accused the Government of underfunding cancer services leading to worse outcomes for patients.

The party Spokesperson on Finance told the Dáil that the Health Service Executive had sought an additional €20 million in this year’s Budget to improve cancer services but it received zero.

Pearse Doherty also said that radiation equipment was lying idle in hospitals with forced machine closures because of staff shortages.

He said the Irish Cancer Society had yesterday told the Oireachtas Committee on Health that cancer services were underfunded for five of the past seven years and that Ireland’s outcomes had either stagnated or dis-improved.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said the Government had invested very significantly in cancer service over the past four years with €7.7 billion extra provided to the HSE compared with 2019.

He also said the mortality rate from cancer had dropped 11% over the past decade with female breast cancer deaths down 19%.

He said additional €40bn in funding had been provided for new treatments and the HSE had authorised 148 new cancer drugs.

Mr Martin insisted that Ireland was not a “laggard” in cancer services.

He added that just because somebody asked for additional funding, it would not necessarily be granted without a demand for efficiencies.


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