Cancer Outpatients see their appointments cancelled.

40 Cancer Outpatients see their appointments cancelled by phone call at short notice due to staff shortages at Galway University Hospital

Press Statement: 28th April 2015

Councillor Catherine Connolly and member of the Regional Health Forum said the cancelling of 40 outpatients cancer clinic appointments in University Hospital Galway is unacceptable and a new low in our public health service.

Councillor Connolly said she received urgent representations in relation to appointments for a Cancer Clinic due for Tuesday afternoon the 28th April being cancelled by phone call on the previous Friday afternoon. On making the necessary enquiries from Hospital Management, Cllr Connolly said it was confirmed that 40 patient appointments for the Outpatient Clinic scheduled for the 28th April 2015 had been cancelled and even more worrying Management was not in a position to say when these patients would be given appointments again.

Further Management confirmed that the reason for the cancellation of patients’ appointments was lack of staff including both Junior Doctors and Nurses but particularly Junior Doctors.

Moreover while HSE West Management confirmed that they were actively recruiting staff they could not say when the situation would be rectified.

Cllr Connolly said this a new low, where the most vulnerable patients are suffering due to the failure to employ the necessary staff which was directly consequent on the government embargo on recruitment up to very recently and also quite clearly a policy of saving money and cut backs.

She said how can a hospital describe itself as a centre of excellence if outpatient cancer clinics are not only cancelled at short notice but there is no indication when the clinic will resume? Ironically she said these are patients who have been advised at all times to avoid stress and in particular stressful situations and yet HSE West policy is actively contributing to patients’ stress levels.

Cllr Connolly said she will be raising this matter at the next Regional Health Forum Meeting on the 26th May 2015.

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