Below an email received from Dylan Haskins today -
Thanks for getting in touch, and sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this issue. I’ve been trying to get to all of my emails and questions from constituents as swiftly as possible, but it hasn’t always been easy to get back to people straight away. Also, I wanted to make sure I had done my research on this issue before responding to you and others who have got in touch about St Luke’s. I was also very interested to hear the opinions voiced at the Rathmines Initiative meeting as well.
I’ve read up a lot on St Luke’s in the past few weeks, and I think there can be only one conclusion to all the evidence that I’ve seen. Patients, their families and staff alike value the service St Luke’s provide. It has a reputation as a top class centre for cancer care and treatment.
In many ways, I understand the logic in amalgamating cancer care into centres of excellence in larger hospitals, but I do not understand the logic in shutting down a centre that is operating extremely well and with which there do not seem to be problems with in standards of care as there are in other facilities around the country whose services will be transferred to other locations.
I don’t see why St Luke’s Hospital should be closed, and I don’t understand why the HSE can’t allow it to continue to operate in conjunction with cancer centres in St James’ and Beaumont. In fact, as far as I can see, these prospective centres could probably learn a lot from St Luke’s, the quality of care it provides, the holistic and calming surroundings that are unique to it, and the relationship it has with the community, with patients and with their families. In these times of economic hardship, we need to use what we have, and that does not just go for St Luke’s, but for every service operating successfully throughout the constituency, the city and the country.
The fact that the HSE, Mary Harney as Minister for Health, local TDs and the government itself did not acknowledge sufficiently the 150,000 signatures gathered in support of saving this fine hospital is nothing short of an affront. I will endeavour to highlight this issue, not just in relation to St Luke’s but in the nonsensical approach to many issues like it in Ireland.
Bureaucracy should never supersede common sense, and the needs of the public, especially those who are most vulnerable, should never be auctioned off by a report or an initiative that goes against the will of the people.