Minister Harney announces Radiation Oncology Facilities at Beaumont and St. James’s Hospitals at the launch of the Symptomatic Breast Disease Service at Beaumont Hospital

26 October 2006

The Minister for Health and Children, Ms Mary Harney TD, today (Thursday 26th October) announced that she has have given approval to the Health Service Executive to proceed with new facilities for radiation oncology at Beaumont Hospital and St. James’s Hospital as a significant part of the development of the National Radiation Oncology Plan. The new facilities will each comprise two linear accelerators and associated treatment planning. They will involve costs of €45m capital and €9m revenue.

The Minister said: ‘I want this service to be delivered in early 2009. It is an important element of the The National Radiation Oncology Plan which will deliver integrated radiation oncology care for patients all over the country. The aim is to provide the most technically advanced and efficient radiation oncology service nationally encompassing all of the radiation oncology treatment modalities and complementing existing medical and surgical oncology services. I am aware that this hospital is fully committed to developing partnerships with other hospitals in the development of services. I know the hospital will continue to develop these partnerships as it develops radiation oncology. This is a necessary element of the roll out of the National Plan.’

Speaking at the launch of the new Symptomatic Breast Service at Beaumont Hospital, the Minister praised the leadership shown at management and clinical levels in the hospital in the development of the new service over the last nine months.

Funding of €1.5m has been provided and seven new Consultant appointments have been made to facilitate the development across the various modalities of care including surgery, radiology and medical oncology, with further appointments due to be made in breast surgery, plastic surgery and pathology. There have also been appointments in nursing, physiotherapy and counselling.

In 2005 there were over 100 new cases of breast cancer in the hospital. Based on the numbers treated to date this year it is expected that this figure will be close to 200 for 2006. This will mark a significant increase of nearly 50% this year in the new cancer workload over 2005.

The Minister said: ‘Multi-disciplinary care is the key to improving outcomes for patients with cancer. The team holds weekly conferences in conjunction with James Connolly Memorial Hospital at which all cases are discussed. The conferences, which are supported by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, are a significant step forward in allowing a forum for professionals to share their knowledge and skills and discuss best practice in relation to individual patient treatments. It is essential that both hospitals continue to work together on a partnership basis for the provision of quality assured breast cancer care to the women in their catchment populations.’