Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Independent Expert Panel Review into Cervical Screening: Discussion

Dr. Colm Henry:

With regard to lymphedema, I would like to acknowledge the work of Lorraine Walsh in advocating for this service. It is somewhat of an orphan speciality in that it does not lend itself readily to one particular specialty. We will be interviewing this Friday for a lymphedema lead. Working with the Department, we have secured funding to start up a service in the Mater Hospital and one of the community healthcare organisations. That service will address the needs and will be core to the needs. One of the core issues for some of the survivors of cervical cancer and indeed other types of cancer is lymphedema and the difficulty they have in accessing a single specialist who can signpost them. We are making progress on that and will be working with Lorraine and others in pushing it and with the Department in securing funding.

On the broader issue of cancer survival and the ten-year strategy of the NCP, part of that strategy focuses on post-cancer care which has been somewhat neglected in recent years with all the focus we have on consolidating care in our eight cancer centres and all the improved outcomes we see in that. As we see greater success with cancer survivorship, there needs to be greater focus on the needs of people who have survived cancer, which until now have not been as well addressed as they should have been. I acknowledge that.