[Sinn Fein]

21st June 2003

Decision on Radiotherapy is a scandal and must be reversed - Cullinane

Sinn Fein Waterford Representative David Cullinane has labelled the decision of Health Minister Martin to overlook the Southeast Region for the location of a Radiotherapy Unit as a national scandal. He said it showed a complete lack of commitment from this government to advance and improve provision of health treatment in this state.

David said:

``This decision to overlook Waterford and the Southeast on Radiotherapy is a scandal. This week we saw the launch of a new health strategy which was nothing but a public relations stunt. It had nothing to do with abolishing the two-tier health system and offered nothing to people who are demanding provision of better health services. Minister Martin's health proposals are like OErearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic' while at the same time sinking the hopes of so many people in Waterford on the issue of Radiotherapy.

``While people are not surprised at the latest announcement from this Minister, they are understandably angry and frustrated. It is my view that the people of Waterford must now unite behind a campaign to reverse this decision. The Waterford Trades Council has already led the way on this issue and I call on everybody in Waterford to fully support this important campaign. There is not a family in Waterford who is not affected by the scourge of Cancer. If we stand united and remain determined then we will succeed in forcing this Minister to reverse his decision and provide a Radiotherapy Unit at W.R.H.

``That this admission from Minister Martin on Radiotherapy came in the same week where the Waterford Port Authority confirmed that a private incinerator is being planed for the Southeast shows clearly the priorities of this government. The people of the Southeast are against incinerators yet are having one forced upon them and are demanding a Radiotherapy Unit yet are being ignored and treated with contempt. It is high time the people of Waterford treated this government and its representatives with the same contempt at the Ballot Box.

``Minister Martin Cullen said and I quote ``I stake my political Reputation on the provision of a Radiotherapy Unit for Waterford. Where does this now leave Minister Cullen. He must now speak out and deliver for Waterford but instead he has deserted his constituents and has remained silent. The people of Waterford deserve so much better then this. ENDS

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