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Funding issues over the transfer of penile cancer service

The need for funding to facilitate the transfer of the penile cancer service to Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, was highlighted at a recent meeting of the National Cancer Control Programme’s (NCCP) executive management team. The national penile cancer service is currently based in University Hospital Waterford (UHW).

“NCCP agrees in principle with the move, but funding will be required,” according to minutes of the 7 October meeting, seen by the Medical Independent (MI) through Freedom of Information law. It was proposed that the CEO of the RCSI Hospitals Group and the CEO of the South/South West Hospital Group meet to discuss replacement funding for Waterford.

There are approximately 25 penile cancer patients a year, requiring a range of services, including sentinel node mapping and nuclear medicine. A spokesperson for the HSE told MI patients travel from all over Ireland to the UHW service.

“This is particularly challenging for those travelling from the north-west of the country,” according to the spokesperson.

“There is a clinical consensus that this is suboptimal for patients.”

They added that the move to Beaumont is “only at the planning stage and is dependent on multiple factors, including funding and investment”.

It is hoped the move can take place by the end of 2020.

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