Cancer strategy development welcome but long overdue, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the announcement a new cancer strategy for Northern Ireland is to be commissioned but added it is long overdue.

Cancer charities and health officials have been told by the Department of Health to plan for the strategy, which will identify new ways of to advance cancer care. A consultation will be released soon.

“I welcome the commissioning of the cancer strategy announced in response to my letter on behalf of the All-Party Group for Cancer of three weeks ago, and the development of an Independent Cancer Taskforce representing professionals, patients and charities similar to that which was used by NHS England,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“We still cannot escape the fact even finalised terms of reference are long overdue. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK and Ireland lacking a cancer strategy and we are still in all likelihood at least a year away from one even being consulted upon.

“Cancer patients, who have already been warned treatment will be delayed because of treatment, are also the victims of the failure of the devolved institutions. We need to get a lot more urgency into the priority issues such as developing strategies to ensure our cancer services improve and treatments are more efficient.”
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