Harney admits health service failed Susie Long

Minister for Health Mary Harney has admitted that the health service failed a young Kilkenny mother who died last Friday.

Susie Long passed away at a hospice in Dublin after battling bowel cancer.

She made headlines earlier this year when she went public to highlight that she had to wait seven months for a test to diagnose her illness because she was a public patient.

She said a private patient was able to access the same test in just three days.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said yesterday that the health system did not live up to its "standards" in the case, while Ms Harney said today that her experience was "unacceptable".

She also claimed the HSE's bid to negotiate a new contract for hospital consultants was aimed at ensuring that access to treatment was based on medical need, rather than wealth.

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