The figures from the Department of Health, show that only 39.5% of patients started treatment within the target of sixty-two days following an urgent GP referral between 1 October 2022 and 31 December 2022.
“It is appalling that cancer targets are being missed whilst government here continues to be held to ransom,” said Ms Bradshaw.
“We have a Cancer Strategy, and we know the changes that need to be made to transform our Health Service, but we need to ensure the required funding is there for year two and subsequent years to see these statistics improve. These cancer figures demand attention from an Executive, but the DUP remains determined to use patients’ lives as bargaining chips.
“Our cancer survival rates are falling behind the rest of the UK and Europe, and we need action now to create and preserve a world-class health service based on NHS principles. The prevalence of cancer will rise with our ageing population, and without more Rapid Diagnosis Centres; Surgical Hubs and specialist multi-disciplinary teams centred around the patient, health outcomes will deteriorate. All of this requires a Health Minister to drive transformation and delivery of the Cancer Strategy; an Executive to provide recurrent funding; and a Health Committee to scrutinise progress.
“There is work to be done, and it is long past time that some politicians here reassessed their priorities and put the health of the population first.”