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When will Mammography Services Return to Sligo? (July 2012)
 
Sligo Councillor Sean MacManus has questioned when the full delivery of a renewed mammography service will be returned to Sligo General Hospital. Councillor MacManus who represents Sligo Co. Council on the HSE West Forum was responding to reply’s which he received to queries he had raised at last week’s meeting of the Forum.
 
Speaking to the Sligo Champion Councillor MacManus said:
“At last Tuesday’s  meeting of the HSE West Forum I tabled a number of questions concerning the return of mammography services to Sligo General Hospital as this issue has been the subject of much speculation and promises from various politicians over the last few weeks.
Amongst the queries which I raised was to seek a date for the return of full mammography services, to find out if a specialist mammography trained radiographer had been appointed and assigned to Sligo and if the mammography machine currently located in Sligo General was suitable for such use.”
 
“To say that I was disappointed with the response from Mr. Bill Maher, who has responsibility for resolving this issue, would be an understatement. In his answer Mr. Maher outlined how, despite a number of attempts to recruit fully trained mammography radiographers, the HSE had so far been unable to reach a situation in which a trained radiographer could be assigned to Sligo General even on a one day per month basis.”
 
The reply which I obtained did go on to state that in the medium term it is planned to train staff in mammography in Galway and when such staff are in place, ‘follow-up mammography in Sligo one day per month would receive full consideration’
 
“This clear response from a senior HSE figure would indicate that a return of mammography services as previously applied at Sligo General is still a considerable time away.
 
“In an effort to offset the growing concern in Sligo at this ongoing delay I was told that the HSE ‘have had discussions with Breast Check about the provision of a follow-up mammography service for women in Sligo who were diagnosed prior to the transfer of the service to Galway’. Such discussions are ongoing and the HSE say that they ‘expect to be in a position to confirm a start date for such an arrangement in the near future’.
 
“While any proposal which would mean that women in the Sligo area would not have to travel to Galway for follow-up mammography services has to be an improvement on the current situation many questions still remain concerning a full delivery of this service at Sligo General Hospital. In particular such a service provided through Breast Check falls far short of the numerous promises made by various local Fine Gael and Labour politicians in the recent past.”
 
“More important than promises is the question of what level of service would be provided by Breast Check, for example would back-up biopsy services be available as was the practice before mammography was removed from Sligo General Hospital?”
 
“My inquiries in relation to the mammography machine currently located at Sligo General and its suitability for use have led to the information that senior management of the HSE are awaiting a report on this matter and an assurance that if upgrading or replacement of the machine was required such funding would be secured.
 
“Given that I have been seeking answers from the HSE since I became a member of the Forum people can be assured that I will continue to pursue this issue. To that end I will again be in contact with Mr. Maher and Mr. John Hennessy (HSE Regional Director of Operations) in the coming days for further clarification and update on the matters raised.” Councillor MacManus concluded.<
 
Mac Manus Has Questions About Mammography Services
(3 July 2012)

Sligo Councillor Sean MacManus has questioned when the full delivery of a renewed mammography service will be returned to Sligo General Hospital. Councillor MacManus who represents Sligo Co. Council on the HSE West Forum was responding to reply’s which he received to queries he had raised at last week’s meeting of the Forum.

Following the meeting Councillor MacManus said:

“At last Tuesday’s meeting of the HSE West Forum I tabled a number of questions concerning the return of mammography services to Sligo General Hospital as this issue has been the subject of much speculation and promises from various politicians over the last few weeks.

Amongst the queries which I raised was to seek a date for the return of full mammography services, to find out if a specialist mammography trained radiographer had been appointed and assigned to Sligo and if the mammography machine currently located in Sligo General was suitable for such use.”

“To say that I was disappointed with the response from Mr Bill Maher, who has responsibility for resolving this issue, would be an understatement. In his answer Mr Maher outlined how, despite a number of attempts to recruit fully trained mammography radiographers, the HSE had so far been unable to reach a situation in which a trained radiographer could be assigned to Sligo General even on a one day per month basis.”

The reply which I obtained did go on to state that in the medium term it is planned to train staff in mammography in Galway and when such staff are in place, ‘follow-up mammography in Sligo one day per month would receive full consideration’

“This clear response from a senior HSE figure would indicate that a return of mammography services as previously applied at Sligo General is still a considerable time away.

“In an effort to offset the growing concern in Sligo at this ongoing delay I was told that the HSE ‘have had discussions with Breast Check about the provision of a follow-up mammography service for women in Sligo who were diagnosed prior to the transfer of the service to Galway’. Such discussions are ongoing and the HSE say that they ‘expect to be in a position to confirm a start date for such an arrangement in the near future’.

“While any proposal which would mean that women in the Sligo area would not have to travel to Galway for follow-up mammography services has to be an improvement on the current situation many questions still remain concerning a full delivery of this service at Sligo General Hospital. In particular such a service provided through Breast Check falls far short of the numerous promises made by various local Fine Gael and Labour politicians in the recent past.”

“More important than promises is the question of what level of service would be provided by Breast Check, for example would back-up biopsy services be available as was the practice before mammography was removed from Sligo General Hospital?”

“My inquiries in relation to the mammography machine currently located at Sligo General and its suitability for use have led to the information that senior management of the HSE are awaiting a report on this matter and an assurance that if upgrading or replacement of the machine was required such funding would be secured.

“Given that I have been seeking answers from the HSE since I became a member of the Forum people can be assured that I will continue to pursue this issue. To that end I will again be in contact with Mr Maher and Mr John Hennessy (HSE Regional Director of Operations) in the coming days for further clarification and update on the matters raised.” Councillor MacManus concluded.

 
MacManus calls for Dail vote to support cancer services in Sligo.

Sligo Sinn Fein Councillor Sean MacManus has called on Fine Gael to table a Dail motion calling for the full re-instatement of cancer services to Sligo General Hospital.

Speaking after the announcement by Sligo/North Leitrim Fianna Fail TDs Jimmy Devins and Eamon Scanlon that they were resigning the Fianna Fail party whip, Councillor MacManus said;

“For those of us who have campaigned for years for the retention of cancer care services at Sligo General Hospital, for the many former and current cancer sufferers in this region and for the general public, the actions of Deputies Devins and Scanlon are seen as much too little and far too late.

Questions immediately arise as to why both deputies waited until the very last moment to take this move. Surely a better way to exert pressure on the government to alter its stance in relation to Sligo would have been to resign a year ago?

Resigning the party whip while still voting in support of this woefully inadequate government will do little to lead to a re-think on cancer care provision at Sligo General. Instead it will be seen by most people as a smokescreen to give the illusion that these TDs are ‘doing something’.

A real test of their position would be for them to support a Dail proposal to calling for the re-instatement of cancer care services to Sligo General Hospital. As the largest opposition party, Fine Gael must bring forward a motion to the Dail on its resumption in September along such lines.

Such a motion must be specific in solely referring to Sligo General Hospital so as to leave no escape clauses for any TDs of any party.”  Ends.


For confirmation call Sean @ 086 8198456



 
14/06/2009

HEALY WARNS OF FURTHER THREAT TO HOSPITAL SERVICES

Thomas Healy, the Sinn Fein representative for the Ballymote area, has reacted with anger to reports of further impending ward closures in Sligo General Hospital. Mr Healy has stated that he was contacted by a number of health care workers over the weekend who have informed him that there are firm rumours circulating indicating plans to close both a medical and a surgical unit in the near future.

“We are all aware of the recent closure of the Orthopaedic and Stroke units as well as the ongoing campaign to retain breast cancer services in Sligo General Hospital”, stated Mr Healy.   “People throughout the region are now very fearful that this is just the thin edge of the wedge in the governments plan to downgrade the hospital further. Following the staff recruitment embargo from March 26th both the I.N.O and S.I.P.T.U have indicated that they believe it will not be possible to deliver the current level of services without current staff levels being maintained. This” continued Mr Healy, “is a recipe for disaster.”

“ Across the country we have seen 24 hour A&E cover being withdrawn from Ennis and Nenagh, breast cancer services being removed from the Lourdes in Drogheda and Monaghan General is about to lose it last acute in patient services. Just last week our Dail leaders wife was involved in a road traffic accident right at the gates of Monaghan Hospital but the ambulance had to convey her almost 70 miles away for treatment due to the reduction of services there!  Taken in this context I believe people’s fears about the future of Sligo General are well justified. I am calling on local government T.Ds to come clean on this and honestly outline to the community what their intentions are for Sligo General Hospital. It is a farce if the government are claiming to provide services whilst secretly planning to reduce or remove them altogether.”

“Sinn Fein”, concluded Mr Healy, “does not believe that the community has to suffer for the economic blunders of the government. We will be standing shoulder to shoulder with the community in opposition to any further health cuts.”CRIOCH

For confirmation contact Thomas Healy @ 086 3666561     

 

Job cuts will cause chaos in health services – MacManus

24 April 2009
 
Speaking to a meeting of election workers in relation to the recently released memo from the HSE detailing that up to 1700 job's may be axed in the health service, Councillor Sean MacManus said that such drastic action would cause chaos in the public health services and that “such savage health cuts cannot be dressed up as reform”.

He stated:“The HSE memo demands cuts of hundreds of front-line jobs in our public health services, including up to 700 nurses. This is but the latest blow to our public health services which have been the target of cuts since autumn 2007.

“The HSE has already been directed by the Fianna Fáil/Green Government not to renew any temporary contracts when they expire, not to fill posts that fall vacant due to retirement and not to fill posts that fall vacant due to resignation/career breaks/early retirement scheme.

“Over 14,000 staff throughout the health services are on temporary contracts, so the full implementation of the Government directive to the HSE will have a massive effect on patient care. The further cuts revealed in the HSE memo will add to the chaos. While the transfer of staff from administrative duties to community health services is welcome this is being used as a smokescreen to hide the effects of cuts on front-line care.

“Hospital waiting lists and A&E queues are as bad as ever and will worsen with the massive cuts in jobs in the public health service. In that situation, how can the government stand over the loss of 700 nursing posts, these are the people at the front-line of health provision. At the same time the Minister has given a gold-plated guarantee to the hospital consultants that their ¤250,000 per annum contract will not be touched. This is for a 33-hour week in the public system and they can still work up to 25% of that time in private practice.

“Savage health cuts cannot be dressed up as reform. Successive Fianna Fáil-led Governments refused over the past 12 years to bring in real health reform and to build an equitable, efficient and sustainable public health system when unprecedented resources were available to do so. Now they are attacking the public health system and doing so under the banner of reform. The hypocrisy of their approach to health knows no bounds.”

For confirmation please contact Sean @ 086 8198456

 MacManus Seeks Information for Public on Radon Gas  (31-Oct-2008)

Sligo Sinn Fein Councillor Sean MacManus has asked Sligo Co. Council to organise a series of public information meetings to familiarise people with the presence of Radon Gas in their homes. In particular Councillor MacManus wants to allow the public access to information on how to identify levels of Radon in their homes and how to deal with it.
 
Cathaoirleach,
 
I have brought this proposal to Council as a direct result of the presentation made to this Council by David Fenton of the Radiological Protection Institute two weeks ago.In that presentation Mr. Fenton indicated that there is a relatively high incident of Radon Gas occurring in a large geographical area of Co. Sligo.

The Radiological Institute have stated that of 1338 homes which they have measured in Co. Sligo, 317—24%--- are above the Reference Level of 200Bq/m3. The Institute further point out that the occupants of these homes may be receiving radiation doses equivalent to several chest X-rays per day.
 
It is my belief that while there is a general public feeling that high incident’s of Radon Gas is unhealthy, (Radon has been linked to lung cancer) there is also a very large gap in the public’s information in relation to how to identify and combat the presence of this gas.
 
I am now proposing that Sligo Co. Council undertake to organise at least two local meetings in the areas of Co. Sligo which have been identified as having the highest levels of Radon Gas so as to inform the public of how best to deal with this matter.

The Radiological Protection Institute have undertaken such information sessions in other counties and have told me that they are prepared to do so in Co. Sligo, if invited.
 
I also want to request that Sligo Co. Council carry out a full Radon gas survey of its housing stock in the immediate future and that this Council will take all steps necessary to deal with the matter where high radon levels are identified.   [END] 

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4Sligo Must Secure one of eight proposed Cancer Centres----Mac Manus (Proposing Motion on Cancer Care Center in Sligo to Sligo County Council meeting  Oct 2006)

 

Some time ago the National Cancer Forum produced a major strategy report on cancer care in this state when it launched its second cancer care report “A Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland 2006”.
This report outlines a vision of an Ireland that will have a system of cancer control to reduce cancer incidence and mortality rates in line with that in other EU countries by 2015.The report proposes that this will include a range of  health-promoting and cancer-prevention behaviours including access to early cancer detection and screening. I t also proposes a network of equitable, accessible cancer treatment facilities and the development of cancer education and research.
 
Central to this Strategy is a national system of four Managed Cancer Control Networks which would consist of primary, palliative, Psycho-oncology and supportive care. This would be supported by the provision of eight (8) Cancer Centres located throughout the state. These are the centres to which I refer in my motion to this Council. The strategy document calls for the designation of these eight centres by the Health Service Executive (HSE) as soon as possible.
 
It is my belief that it is of the utmost importance that this Council immediately begin to lobby both the Department of Health and Children and the HSE to ensure that Sligo General Hospital is designated as one of these eight Cancer Care centres. Because of our geographical location we are ideally situated to serve Counties Sligo, Leitrim, south Donegal, west Cavan, north Roscommon and east Mayo. We have a duty as public representives to work to obtain this Cancer Care centre in Sligo, we cannot allow the present situation of lack of comprehensive cancer treatment facilities in Sligo to continue.
 
We must act quickly on this matter and consequently I am amending my proposal to include a request for a meeting between a deputation from this Council and representives from the department of Health and Children and the HSE, either jointly or separately, to outline our concerns on this issue.
 
The North-west has been poorly treated in relation to aspects of health care provision, in particular cancer care, on an ongoing basis---we only have to look at the issues of Breastcheck or the failure to provide radiotherapy services in this region. It is now time that we asserted in the strongest terms possible that we cannot continue to be overlooked in this regard and to demand that Sligo General Hospital be designated as one of the proposed Cancer Care centres. [END]
 

Councillor Sean Mac Manus calls for free cervical cancer screening for all women(Motion to Sligo Borough Council.)   (6-October-2006)

 

Among the many injustices in relation to the delivery of health services to the North West, the issue of cancer care-- in particular cancer care for women—predominates. We have witnessed over the past six years the ongoing failure of this government to roll out “Breastcheck” to this region and their refusal to fund radiotherapy services in Sligo General Hospital. To that deficit we must also add the provision of a state wide screening programme for cervical cancer.
 
Since 1992 Fianna Fail have been promising the delivery of such a screening programme, as with  many other projects they are big on promises and short on action. For each year that they delay on delivery of a screening programme, approximately seventy (70) women have died unnecessarily from this easily treated ailment. 

At present to have a cervical screening test women have to attend their GPs for smear tests at a cost of up to ¤70, although in fairness it must be said that some doctors forgo this charge. This charge is a deterrent to women having regular tests necessary to deal with cervical cancer at an early stage and effects low income women in particular. When a woman has a smear test a further problem then arises in relation to the length of time which she has to wait for her results. At present most smear tests in this state are sent to either Altnagelvin in Derry or the U.K. for analysis and in many cases results are not notified to the patient for up to three months. This situation is totally unacceptable, causing unnecessary worry for the woman and in some cases late diagnosis of cervical cancer with possible fatal results.  If women in the U.K. can have their smear test results back within two weeks why can’t we get the same turn around in this country?
 
I am asking that Sligo Borough Council support my call for the immediate provision of a national cervical screening service which will be freely available to all women. An essential part of the delivery of this service must include a fully resourced laboratory to ensure fast an accurate diagnosis. In a time of unprecedented wealth in Irish society the least we can do is to secure the delivery of decent health services. It’s well past time that this Coalition lived up to it’s responsibilities and started to deliver value on the tax investment of the Irish people, it is after all our money which they are currently mishandling. [END]

 
6-May-2006

SINN FEIN CAMPAIGN TO CHALLENGE TWO-TIER HEALTH SYSTEM

On Saturday next, the 13th May Sinn Fein are launching a campaign for Healthcare as a Right based on their comprehensive new party policy document, “Healthcare in an Ireland of Equals”. Copies of the document will be distributed to a range of statutory and voluntary groups and will help to inform the debate about the states current healthcare crisis. Focusing initially on the 26 counties the party will present an alternative to the current two-tier system and propose ways of bringing about practical improvements that will be of real benefit to patients.

Sinn Fein candidate for Sligo/North Leitrim, Councillor Sean MacManus who is associated with local health campaigns such as breastcheck, radiotherapy services and the A&E crisis, spoke to party activists in Sligo before the launch. “We have just come through one of the worst winters in recent years in terms of the crisis in our Accident and Emergency units” he stated. On average 300 patients a day were on trolleys and chairs in A&E during the first three months of 2006. In addition to this the Northwest is being discriminated against in the provision of cancer care services. The same core problems persist and are not acknowledged, never mind addressed by this government. These are the bed shortage and the lack of proper primary healthcare where patients can go with minor injuries. In addition to this GPs are not available around the clock and often don’t have the facilities necessary resulting in patients going straight to A&E.”

“This new Sinn Fein document is both radical and refreshing in its approach. Its recommendations concern preventative care such as health screening and the provision of adequate care in the home, especially for older people. It identifies a need for 3000 extra beds and the accelerated roll out of primary care. More fundamentally it puts the current two-tier system of healthcare in context, at present public hospitals also contain private beds, which they service with staff and other facilities. Consultants can be paid by the state to treat public patients whilst devoting time to private fee paying patients who can access faster care! This is both unjust and inefficient. Sinn Fein are clearly opposed to the wasting of millions of Euros of tax payers money on tax breaks for private hospitals and is furthermore opposed to Minister Mary Harneys plan to give away land in public hospitals to developers of private hospitals. Indeed with the wastage of taxpayers on these schemes and the failed computer systems for the health service up to 1000 additional public beds could already have been provided. This is a disgrace that public money is going to the private health business where wealth buys health. We assert that all spending on health should be in the public system only, with equal access for all on the basis of need alone.”

“Healthcare” concluded Cllr MacManus “is a fundamental right which I hope people are prepared to stand up and demand. It should be a public service provided equitably and paid for through fair and progressive taxation. Many people are paying on the double anyway through their taxes and private health insurance, a key part of the document is the establishment of a Health Funding Commission to assess current funding and recommend how best it can be harnessed to fund the equitable, universal and all Ireland system we propose. I hope that as many people as possible who are concerned with healthcare, both the general public and people directly working in it, will take the time to read this document and discuss its implications for reform of the health services.”

Copies of “Healthcare in an Ireland of Equals” are available from Sean MacManus@ 0868198456
[END]

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