Cork hospital hiring consultants to address vacancies in cancer services

Cork hospital hiring consultants to address vacancies in cancer services

Ten consultants delivering cancer services had departed the service at CUH in recent years

Cork University Hospital has appointed a new radiation oncologist in the hospital.

Radiation oncology or radiotherapy is therapy using ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment.

The appointment of the new consultant comes after it was recently revealed ten consultants delivering cancer services had departed the service at CUH in recent years, impacting services at the hospital.

Data from the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) showed that many consultant posts at the hospital involved in early diagnosis and treatment of cancer were either vacant or filled on a temporary basis.

CUH is a leading National Cancer Centre, part of the HSE National Cancer Control Programme, and provides cancer services to people from the counties of Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, and Waterford.

The hospital unveiled a new €40 million state-of-the-art Radiation Oncology Centre in recent months.

However, the IHCA recently revealed that a consultant recruitment and retention crisis was impacting the delivery of cancer services at CUH.

Of the 13 consultants who left CUH in recent years, 10 were involved in the delivery of cancer services at the hospital.

Meanwhile, four of the seven permanent radiation oncology posts at CUH (57%) are either vacant or filled on a temporary basis while one of the five medical oncology posts is also vacant.

These and other vacancies, often for lengthy periods, are undermining the delivery of cancer care in CUH, according to IHCA President Dr Donal O’Hanlon had said that vacancies in cancer services at the hospital were undermining delivery.

“There are vacancies in neuroradiology and breast radiology and there is a need to approve a further two permanent posts taking account of the workload.

“As a result of these significant deficits, cancer services at the hospital are currently restricted,” added Dr O’Hanlon.

“The provision of full 24/7 inpatient and outpatient radiology services has been adversely affected.

“There are simply not enough radiologists to maintain the service, with restrictions on outpatient CT and ultrasound imagery.”

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