... under the current plan, Dublin will have four centres of excellence with others in Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway while the country north of the line between Galway and Dublin faces the prospect of being so far from specialist cancer care that people living there feel their civil rights have been ignored.
Imagine your in Inishowen, severely sick with cancer and you have to drive to Galway or Dublin a few times a month for care?
Oncologist John Crown says the concept of centralising cancer care is absolutely correct, but he is passionate that the northern half of the country needs its own centre."You cannot have every little hospital treating breast cancer. The treatment will be inferior. People will have to travel a bit to get treatment."
So we need centralised cancer treatment, but not so centralised that folk in Donegal can't get to it.
Professor Crown says there was a way in which placing a centre of excellence in Sligo would make sound medical and economic sense.
"If they take the old North Western Health Board region -- Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim, which would have about 225,000 to 250,000 people -- that is plenty big enough of a catchment area for a cancer centre. Under the current plan, they have given Donegal a small cancer chemotherapy unit maintained with some surgery, instead of having a comprehensive service covering the whole region and all the different types of cancers and their treatments in Sligo or elsewhere in the north west. It just makes no sense.
"The way forward is for all the people of the north west to agitate not for Sligo, or even the north west in particular, but for the entire north of the country," he says.I think the article is worth reading, and a lot of people in the NW, especially the extremities will be affected by this:
Ann McGowan says the decision discriminates against women.
"Breast cancer is predominantly a female disease and that is the first thing they have removed from Sligo. The Government is not listening. They are not even listening to the elected members of their own party. Bertie Ahern and Mary Harney appear to have dug in their heels and the attitude is 'we will do what want and that is it'," she says.
She is all too familiar with the arduous nature of chemotherapy treatment when she had to travel from her home in Donegal to Sligo.
"I had to get someone to leave me up to Sligo every time I went for treatment. I was so ill. I was so tired. I couldn't walk to the top of the stairs without a rest. Yet they expect people in the north west to travel down to Galway. At the very least, it's a four-hour round trip and that is not talking about the people who come from the north of Donegal," she adds.