Cancer Strategy must be fully funded and part of the transformation agenda.

Alliance Party Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said that the ten-year Cancer Strategy for Northern Ireland must be fully funded by the Executive and part of a wider transformation of the Health Service to achieve its aims. Her comments coincide with World Cancer Day, which is marked annually on 4th February. 

“It is welcome that this World Cancer Day we finally have a ten-year strategy to improve cancer treatment for everyone in Northern Ireland, however, it must be fully funded by the Executive if the benefits are to be realised,” said the South Belfast MLA.

“It is also vital that the Cancer Strategy is part of a wider transformation agenda that includes a focus on preventative care, better data collection, improved staff wellbeing and enhanced patient experience. Otherwise, the aims of the strategy will not be achieved.

“As many as one in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime and 9,600 people are diagnosed every year here. The pandemic has highlighted the desperate need to get on top of our waiting lists and ensure that patients receive a timely diagnosis followed by swift effective care. The current two-tier system, where those with means can get faster care, must come to an end.   

“On World Cancer Day, I would like to thank all our local charities for supporting patients and research, as well as their tireless campaign to see the creation of this Cancer Strategy. I would also like to congratulate Cancer Research UK on twenty years of life-saving work. The charity has been essential in our ongoing fight against cancer.”