03/08/2021

Health Minister Urged To Ensure Cancer Recovery Plan Is Enacted

Health Minister Robin Swann has been urged to ensure the Cancer Recovery Plan is acted upon and cancer services continue to be delivered for those in clinical need.

Making the call, DUP Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart, said: "In March the Minister was clear in his determination that cancer services should be resilient to future Covid surges. He rightly recognised that impacts on these services would lead to projected increases in cancer cases. However, as we face an upturn in hospital admissions because of the Delta variant, we once again are seeing urgent cancer procedures being cancelled.
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"Clearly the Department envisaged a situation whereby Covid surges would occur, but people will ask whether the plan is properly in place to deal with the situation we now find ourselves in.

"We know that hospitals and our fantastic healthcare staff are facing increased pressures due to increases in Covid transmission, but the importance of the plan was to ensure that steps were taken to deal with this.

"We need the Minister to get to grips with this situation. With winter pressures and potentially new variants of COVID emerging in the coming months patients will be seeking reassurance that they will see action not just words, and a robust plan to ensure cancer patients can avail of the surgery they will need over coming months. The resilience promised by the Minister must be delivered."

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