Cancer patients, who have had no treatment since Lockdown, still await appointments for chemotherapy says MP

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Constituents are still waiting for an indication of when their life-saving cancer treatment can resume, says an NI MP.

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart called on Health Minister Robin Swan to provide an urgent update on when cancer treatments will resume.

Mrs Lockhart said numerous constituents have told her they have received no treatment since Lockdown and have no indication when it will resume.

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Having written to Robin Swan, Mrs Lockhart said: “While the Minister has made all the right noises and has expressed good intentions, I am still being contacted by constituents who have had no treatment since lockdown was introduced, and who have heard absolutely nothing about any indicative timetable for the restoration of services like the administering of chemotherapy.

Pam Cameron MLA, Victoria Poole, Carla Lockhart MPPam Cameron MLA, Victoria Poole, Carla Lockhart MP
Pam Cameron MLA, Victoria Poole, Carla Lockhart MP

The Upper Bann MP said: “This is life saving treatment, for which time is of the essence.

“The anxiety amongst cancer sufferers and their loved ones is increasing by the day,” added Mrs Lockhart.

“ What we need is that date led plan for these life saving treatments to be restored to pre-lockdown capacities,” she insisted.

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“I have once again written to the Health Minister to ask what exactly is the plan to make this to happen.

“Delay is damaging the prognosis of local people, and that is unacceptable.”

Speaking in the Assembly on Tuesday Health Minister provided an update regarding the rebuilding of cancer services.

Minister Swann said: “I am acutely aware of the distress caused by delays in diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.

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“My aim is to ensure that we provide as much capacity as we can to deliver oncology and radiotherapy services within the context of preparing for a potential second wave of Covid-19.

“Because of the need to maintain high levels of infection control it will be important to further develop the new ways of working for cancer services that emerged during the first wave of the pandemic and provide additional investment to embed these,” said the Minister for Health..

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