"Additional capacity and funding needed to tackle cancer backlog" - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called for increased funding and capacity to tackle the backlogs in cancer services. Deputy Tóibín said:
"Statistics released to me following a written question to the Department of Health show an increase in the number of GP referrals for symptomatic breast cancer and a serious reduction in attendance at rapid access clinics for breast cancer and prostate cancer. We are all aware of the hundreds of thousands of women currently stuck in a backlog for cancer screening, but the statistics released to me show a backlog for symptomatic patients also, which is extremely alarming".
"This backlog was referenced also in the HSE's winter plan published a few months ago. The Minister for Health has told me that funds have been allocated to restore cancer services to 95% of 2019's capacity for 2021. However, 95% capacity is not good enough, especially in light of the backlogs currently being experienced. 95% capacity will not be enough to swiftly clear these backlogs, and I would worry that cancer patients might die as a result of this. Given my own recent battle with cancer, I am acutely aware of the urgency required in the treatment of the disease. Any delay in diagnosis or treatment is likely to reduce a patient’s survival chances", concluded Deputy Tóibín.
NB See Attached Parliamentary Question & Response
Cancer Backlog PQ