Reports of a €109 million shortfall in capital funding for health services will "come as a blow to cancer patients" in the west who will have to wait "even longer for the development of the much needed state of the art radiation oncology unit" in Galway.
This is the view of the Mayor of Galway, and Labour city councillor Niall McNelis, who called the delay's "unacceptable". He is now calling on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to close the funding gap in capital investment for health services spending to "ensure the cancer treatment unit is delivered in Galway".
The HSE had been set a budget of approximately half a billion euro this year, but according to The Irish Times the health service is facing a “funding gap” of €109 million. As a result, the proposed cancer facilities in Galway, along with a new psychiatric unit for Sligo, and a renal unit at Tallaght Hospital, have been set back by at least six months. The HSE has plans to build a three storey radiation oncology unit at UHG which was expected to become operational in 2021.
"For the last few months we've been inundated with Government spin about their capital plan 'Ireland 2040'," said the Mayor. "Yet at the first hurdle it's clear there isn't enough investment into essential services. The delivery of services for cancer patients should not be put on the long finger. This Fine Gael led government has to make the development of a top quality health service for the whole county a real priority and stop long fingering solutions."