Criticism at lack of oncology transport

A local councillor has hit out at the lack of transport available for Westmeath patients undergoing oncology treatment in Tullamore hospital.

At present there is no dedicated transport system available for oncology patients from Westmeath, Longford, Offaly, and Laois who attend oncology and haematology services at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore.

Speaking at the recent HSE Regional Health Forum meeting, Mullingar’s Cllr Mick Dollard criticised the lack of transport available, particularly in light of the large area covered by the services.

HSE Midlands manager Joe Ruane confirmed that the HSE is working with the Irish Cancer Society to facilitate the introduction of its ‘Care to Drive’ scheme, which will initially be rolled out to patients in the Laois/Offaly area and then, it is hoped, expanded to the wider region.

Patients attending Tullamore hospital who are experiencing difficulty in funding transport costs can also apply to the Department of Social and Family Affairs for financial assistance.

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