Denis Naughten yesterday highlighted the potential which Roscommon Hospital has to deal with the current backlog of people waiting for colonoscopy tests for suspected bowel cancer.
Speaking at a Dáil Committee yesterday Denis Naughten revealed that there has been a 52% increase in the number of people waiting more than 3 months for this vital cancer test, yet Roscommon County Hospital which has the equipment and theatre space is not allowed to deal with the backlog.
The farcical situation has arisen where Galway University Hospital has a huge backlog for this test, but Roscommon Hospital cannot call patients for the test because of the lack of one theatre nurse, due to Government cutbacks.
At present there are 705 people, some of whom are living in the West of Ireland, waiting for more than 3 months for this test and the delays are putting a question mark over the plan to roll out the national bowel cancer screening programme throughout the Country by the end of next year.
Surely, it makes sense to use the modern facilities at Roscommon County Hospital, to tackle this waiting list and secure the future of the bowel cancer screening programme.
“By appointing one theatre nurse the HSE could not only save taxpayers money by identifying cancer at a much earlier stage but also prevent the death of people from bowel cancer” concluded Denis Naughten.