A LISNASKEA woman has voiced her concern after major delays in cancer waiting times across the Western Trust forced her mother to go private in order to receive a cancerous tumour diagnosis, despite being red flagged by her local GP three times.
Anna O’Reilly saw a colorectal specialist in SWAH on 22 October and following a CT scan a mass was found in her colon.
Her daughter Monica O’Reilly told the Herald, “The specialist then red flagged mum for a colonoscopy and said to go private as his waiting list was approximately six months and that the procedure needed to be done as soon as possible.
“Thank god I got on the phone straight away to a private hospital in Belfast, we saw a consultant privately for a number of appointments including the colonoscopy and CT colonography and through all of this private treatment mum was then told before Christmas that a tumour was present.
“Mum was then transferred to the NHS list and had her operation within three weeks, just two days before operations were cancelled in Belfast and is now awaiting chemotherapy as the biopsy showed that her cancer had spread.”
Monica informed the Herald that her mother’s NHS appointment letter for a colonoscopy at SWAH came through on the 14 January, over a week after her mother Anna had her operation, and warned that the pair could very well “still be waiting” had they not gone private.
Monica warned, “Covid has widened gaps between the have and have nots and SWAH versus Belfast and Eastern hospital gaps have widened to a very dangerous level.
“Mum has now started her chemotherapy treatment last week. Her tumour had already spread outside the colon wall and spread to two out of 14 lymph nodes that they had removed, which really emphasises the need for early detection.”
Monica also believes that the long SWAH delay is not due to Covid, but rather decades of underfunding in the West and went on to commend efforts made by her mother’s doctors at the Maple Group Practice in Lisnaskea.
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