Local TD Denis Naughten has described the decision by the HSE to force the closure of the chemotherapy and warfarin clinics at Portiuncula Hospital to subsidise underfunding at the hospital as “shameful”.
“Under a new ‘cost saving’ plan, cancer patients will now have to face the war zone which is University Hospital Galway to receive treatment. So as well as battling cancer they will now have to battle poor road conditions, traffic congestion and the infamous car park at the hospital.
“Patients on warfarin will now have to attend their GP, pay for blood tests and then wait days for results before their medication will be altered. This puts them at increased risk of having to be admitted to A&E, instead of having the whole process undertaken in Portiuncula where it was completed within a few hours.
“In addition, those awaiting operations at Portiuncula will now see their procedure postponed until 2012 and patients will see further delays in being diagnosed by doctors when they attend the hospital due to cuts in staff hours of work.
“What is extremely frustrating is the fact that the management team at Portiuncula has balanced its books for 2011, even with additional cutbacks, but is being penalised for historic underfunding at the Ballinasloe site,” concluded Denis Naughten.