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David Stanton, Fine Gael Cork East TD has received further assurances from the HSE that a PET scanner will soon be operational in Cork. The PET/CT Scanner, which is crucial for detection of cancer, has been lying idle in Cork University Hospital (CUH) since 2009.

“It is very important that PET/CT scan services are available to the people of Cork. Currently persons requiring a scan must travel to a hospital Dublin. Not only is this costly for the HSE, with €1 million spent to date by the HSE South purchasing scans in Dublin, it is also costly, and traumatic for patients, many of whom are very ill,” said Deputy Stanton.

“In 2009, CUH spent approximately €6.85 million constructing a brand new treatment and diagnostic facility where the PET/CT scanner is located. Despite this investment this unit is not yet operational as due to the public service recruitment moratorium there is no staff to run the unit.

“When I raised the matter in Dail Eireann before Christmas I was advised that the recruitment of staff for the unit had been sanctioned. I understand from the HSE that posts of Principle Physicist and Consultant Radiologist have been sanctioned and recruitment has begun with the consultant vacancy due to be advertised in the coming weeks. The HSE have advised that as recruitment can take time, they are seeking a suitable candidate to fill a temporary consultant in the unit.

“I would like to see this unit operational very soon. Until the PET/CT scanner in Cork is operational patients will continue to be forced to travel to Dublin for essential, potentially life-saving scans”, concluded Deputy Stanton.