A number of organisations have called on the Government to fast-track plans for a dedicated cancer care facility in the west.

The National Development Plan contains a commitment that a Cancer Centre at University Hospital Galway will be delivered before 2030. It will serve the west and northwest regions and is intended to address a gap in the provision of treatment in the area at present.

Cancer Care West, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute and NUI Galway have joined forces to call for a design team to be appointed "as a matter of urgency" in order to progress the development.

They say a dedicated Cancer Centre will help address a higher incidence of the disease in the region, compared to other parts of the country.

The Director of the Saolta-NUI Galway Cancer Network, Professor Michael Kerin, said that proper infrastructure, dedicated treatment teams and a coordinated network were all needed, to ensure people in the region could access comprehensive cancer care.

He said that at present, cancer treatment is competing with emergency and elective health care.

Prof Kerin said a focused effort was needed to ensure the new centre was delivered in a timely fashion.

It's envisaged that the facility would provide cancer care in a fit-for-purpose environment, with access to treatments underpinned by clinical trials, research and education.

The Cancer Care West charity, which assists thousands of patients across the region, says the commitment to provide enhanced services is crucial to achieving better outcomes.

The organisation’s CEO, Richard Flaherty, said it was an essential part of the effort to enhance the provision of care for those diagnosed with the condition.