This week, the Campaign has written to every director of the charity, Friends of St Luke’s and also to the CEO of the Irish Cancer Society to ask that they revisit their current position which is to support government policy to close St Luke’s and replace it by a new cancer unit at St James’s.
We have pointed out that the new unit, due to open this month is merely an outpatient centre with no beds and no catering for patients when Minister Harney promised a ‘state of the art’ centre embodying best practice which would ensure best outcomes for patients. We have sent them pictures of the new unit – we call it the ‘bunker’ – which could win an award for architectural ugliness. We have also asked them how can 12 cancer beds to be provided at some time somewhere in the main hospital (ie not in the cancer Unit) deal with all cancer cases in the Eastern region South. St Luke’s has 179 beds. There were 31,469 new cancer cases in Ireland in 2009 per the National Cancer Registry.
Many Luke’s supporters have contacted us about the apparent lack of support for Luke’s by the Friends and the Irish Cancer Society. This is why we are asking them to review their policy in the context of the reality of the new unit at James’s.