Co-operating for Cancer Care North West CCC (NW) Noelle Duddy, Spokesperson, revealed the group received a call form Enda Kenny’s office last Friday extending the invitation.
“We are pleased that the Taoiseach has come to the North West to be personally briefed by the WHSCT team who is managing this project and to view the site where the new cross border radiotherapy unit will be built. We were honoured to be invited to this meeting.”
Jim O’Donnell, Chairperson, CCC(NW) said the Taoiseach strongly re-affirmed his absolute personal commitment and that of the Irish Government to this cross border project.
“CCC(NW) is very pleased that the Taoiseach also endorsed, acknowledged and praised the role CCC(NW) played in helping secure this vital service for cancer patients in the North West Region.”
“Approximately one third of the patients who will attend the Unit will be from Donegal and the surrounding areas and in recognition of this fact the Irish Government is committed to providing a capital contribution of €19 million to the Project.
“In addition, the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) will contribute to the operating costs of treatment for patients from the Republic. The Department of Health and the NCCP have representatives on the Cross-Border Sub-Group, the Project Board and the Service Design and Workforce Planning Sub-Group for the development of this Project.
“Letterkenny and Altnagelvin continue to work together developing patient clinical pathways. Approximately 1,022 new patients from the North and 360 new patients from the South will be treated in the unit per year,” he said.
He added that the new unit will great enhance the quality of service and life for people suffering form cancer in the North West.
“When this unit is operational the majority of cancer patients in Donegal and the NW Region requiring radiotherapy will be able to receive their treatment near to home, families and friends.
“Patients who currently have to refuse treatment because they are unable to travel to Dublin, Galway or Belfast, will in the future be able to accept and avail of treatment.
“Travelling distressing hundreds of miles for radiotherapy treatment will be a thing of the past. It is anticipated that the unit will be built by 2015 and operational mid 2016.”
“We believe North-South cooperation for this radiotherapy unit is a win, win situation for everyone for: cancer patients and their families, healthcare professionals, research & development, politicians and for the tax payer on either side of the border.”