Local charity Cancer Focus Northern Ireland has responded to the Department of Health’s latest quarterly cancer waiting times (Jan – Mar 2022).
Richard Spratt, CEO of Cancer Focus NI has said, “Once again, we are dismayed at this repeated failure to meet the Department’s own waiting time targets. These statistics represent real people. Waiting for a diagnostic test or treatment, can be devastating – we hear of the impact every day as we continue to support local patients and their families through their cancer journey.
“The ongoing collapse of the Stormont Executive has created unnecessary worry around the long-term budgetary planning necessary to implement the new Cancer Strategy. Cancer Focus NI expects an urgent commitment from all Ministers to guarantee recurring funding to deliver the Strategy’s recommendations immediately. This was our key ask for our politicians at the recent Assembly elections and the public need and demand delivery.”
Richard Spratt continued: “We welcome the Minister’s recent announcement to address waiting lists for the first six months of 2022/23. We believe that if properly resourced it can go some of the way to alleviate the backlog. However, more importantly, we urgently need a clear plan for sustained funding of the new Cancer Strategy. This must include significant improvements in capacity to meet workforce challenges. Local people deserve and expect better from our political leaders.”
Cancer Focus NI offers therapeutic cancer support to local patients and their families. If you have any concerns about your health, speak to your GP as soon as possible. Visit www.cancerfocusni.org/symptoms for more information on common signs and symptoms of cancer. For information on the charity’s support services visit www.cancerfocusni.org/support.