“However, the Director of the National Cancer Control Programme, Prof. Tom Keane, has recently proposed a major change to the Strategy which will see three Centres of Excellence being based in Dublin, as opposed to the planned four.
“By operating as one combined Centre of Excellence, it was decided that the Mater Hospital and St. Vincent’s would best be able to serve the people of Dublin. In a similar vein the maintenance of existing service at the South Infirmary and CUH will do the same for the people of Cork.
“In the current economic climate, and considering the high level of service being delivered at the South Infirmary, it makes no sense to waste scarce Exchequer resources moving a successful and competent cancer service a mere three miles down the road to CUH, which is already severely overcrowded.
“Services should be maintained at the South Infirmary with a link being established with CUH in the same manner as is being proposed for The Mater and St. Vincent’s in Dublin. Resources and experience could be pooled between the two hospitals where the strengths of each could be identified and built on without incurring unnecessary extra expenditure.
“If such a move is possible for the patients of hospitals in Dublin, there is no reason why a similar decision cannot be taken for the people of Cork.”