By Kernan Andrews
New cancer-treatment facilities are to be developed in Galway under the updated National Cancer Strategy, which identifies a need for additional oncology facilities in Galway to meet increasing service requirements.
The National Cancer Strategy was published by the Minister for Health Simon Harris on Wednesday, but plans have already been devised for a new, increased capacity, facility for Galway - it is understood it will be needed within the next five years.
According to Fine Gael Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton the facility is likely to be progressed shortly. “Since 2006, Galway has been designated as a centre of excellence for cancer care; but adequate investment and resources are required if we are to fulfil the role suggested by that designation,” she said. "The new National Cancer Strategy recognises the need to improve treatment facilities. We now want to see that recognition translated into action."
The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 identifies Galway, Cork and Dublin as three locations with a need for additional oncology facilities in order to meet increasing service requirements. It states the upgrade and replacement of current equipment will be required as part of the expansion to existing facilities, in addition to the recruitment of specialised staff.
“The National Plan for Radiation Oncology envisions the further development of radiation oncology facilities in Galway,” the strategy document states. “It is critical that the NPRO be progressed to ensure that the required facilities for radiation oncology are available over the period of this strategy.”
A health technology function will also be developed to assess new treatment options as they become available.