Speaking during Question Time in the Assembly yesterday he called for urgent action.
“The publication of the latest statistics for cancer waiting times in Northern Ireland, are a matter of deep concern.
The failure by the Department to meet vital targets is completely unacceptable and requires focused and urgent action by the Minister.
The percentage of patients treated within 62 days of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer has continued to decrease. In the latest figures from the Department this now sits at 42.5%, in clear breach of the 95% Ministerial target.
The number of cancer patients treated within 31 days of a decision to treat has also continued to fall. The latest figures show that treatment was not offered to 765 patients in the first nine months of 2021 within this timeframe, again in breach of the Ministerial target.
In line with the Ministerial target, all urgent breast cancer referrals should be seen within 14 days. In 2021 this target was not met during any reporting period and the percentage of patients seen within this timeframe dropped to as low as 33%.
These figures show the true damage of not having a plan in place to fix our health service.
This situation cannot continue and the Minister has a duty to take urgent action to bring this matter under control.”