Durkan: We must be ambitious when it comes to reducing cancer waiting times
However, Mr Durkan added that despite recent investment by the Department, cancer services continue to remain under extreme pressure.
The MLA for Foyle commented:
“Figures released by the Department of Health today show a general improvement in cancer diagnosis and treatment times in a number of areas. However, we are still missing targets and is some cases there has been a deterioration since last year.
“At least 95% of patients who have received an urgent referral for suspected cancer should receive treatment within 62 days. During December 2018 only 60.5% received that level of service.
“A cancer diagnosis is an extremely difficult and worrying time for patients and their families. We have a duty to ensure this period in a person’s life is a stress-free as possible and that they receive first class treatment throughout this process.
“We need to deliver a cancer strategy for the North that allows us to be as ambitious as possible when it comes to reducing waiting times for cancer patients. That demands a Minister providing strong direction. We cannot continue to fail people who receive a cancer diagnosis and need urgent help.”