Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Health
487. To ask the Minister for Health the steps that are being taken to improve transport services from rural areas to designated cancer centres for scheduled day case treatments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49191/21]
The HSE's National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) advises that there are two services administered by the Irish Cancer Society that support patients in travelling for cancer treatment.
The Volunteer Driver Service is a volunteer-delivered service to drive patients to and from treatment in designated partner hospitals and centres. The service is free to the patient, with all costs covered by the Irish Cancer Society, upon referral by a healthcare professional in a partnered hospital.
The Travel2Care Scheme is a limited transportation assistance fund, funded by the NCCP. This is available to patients travelling to a designated cancer centre, approved centres, or an approved children’s hospital. It is administered by the Irish Cancer Society and supports people who have financial difficulties in meeting the costs of travelling for appointments.
More broadly, funding provided to the health services is focused on meeting the direct health needs of patients, and promoting good health more generally.