“Real Progress” in Survival rates for Donegal Patients

“Real Progress” in Survival rates for Donegal Patients
Ó Domhnaill Rejects O’Neill’s Manipulation of Statements for Political Purposes

Donegal South West bye-Election candidate Brian Ó Domhnaill has said that improvement in cancer survival rates for Donegal patients is proof that “real progress” is being made since first national cancer strategy was implemented in 1997. He also rejected claims from Fine Gael’s Barry O’Neill that he was out of touch on the issue, and accused Cllr. O’Neill of seeking to manipulate people’s health concerns for party political ends.

Senator Ó Domhnaill said: “Information from the National Cancer Registry shows that the five year survival from all cancers diagnosed in Donegal has improved by over 15% between 1997 and 2006. The latest data available covers the years from 2002-2006 and shows that average survival rate was 52.9%. This demonstrates that real progress has been made.

“This progress is set to accelerate now that that the national control strategy has been rolled out. All the evidence shows that women treated in specialist centres have a survival rate that is 25% better than women treated elsewhere in the country.

“I am committed to working to improve outcomes for cancer patients in Donegal. I will campaign for the new satellite centre (linked to Belfast City Hospital) located in Altnagelvin in Derry to be opened on time, as originally promised by Sinn Féin and the Northern Executive.

“Likewise I will continue to work for the rollout of mammography services in Sligo. Breastcheck has almost completed screening of over 5,300 women living in Donegal Town and surrounding areas. A second mobile screening unit will be located in Buncrana and start screening women at the end of the month.”

Senator Ó Domhnaill said that when he spoke on these issues on Highland Radio, he was responding to a point regarding the availability of radiotherapy services in Altnagelvin: “The key point I was making was that we are committed to providing the best possible outcomes for cancer patients. These figures, and each life they represent, are proof that our strategy is working.

“It is a shame that Cllr. O’Neill has chosen to misrepresent my statements on these issues. It is particularly unfortunate that he has chosen to manipulate people’s health concerns for party political purposes.

“People need to hear positive solutions at this difficult time, not negativity as usual.”

Posted: Nov 21, 2010     |     Categories: Donegal South West