Cancer waiting times reinforce need for health service reform: Dodds

DUP health spokesperson Diane Dodds has said latest cancer waiting time statistics underscore the need for urgent action on reform of the health service.

By Diane Dodds MLA

Upper Bann

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The Upper Bann MLA said, “There have been huge strides made in the treatment of cancer over recent years, but early diagnosis and treatment are both key to success. With fewer than 30% of patients starting treatment within 62 days following an urgent GP referral it is a stark reminder of the difficulties facing our health service.

This is an issue that will literally impact upon every single person in our society, with 50% of us projected to receive a cancer diagnosis at some point.

Everyone acknowledges that funding is vital for the health service, but below that the need for proper plans to reform the health service are fundamentally important. Additional funding to simply keep doing what has been done before won’t solve the problems we face. It is hugely important that the Health Minister brings forward the plans that we have been long promised in relation to reform. There will be an obvious need for cross-party support within the Executive and Assembly, but that can only be found once there are details and a plan of how we might move forward.

There will be a need for strong leadership right across the Executive and difficult decisions to be taken. It is important that we do not hold back on moving this forward wherever possible however.”

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