Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has cautiously welcomed news that cancer waiting times have been reduced for many anxious patients, adding that there is still a long way to go in tackling these and other critical waiting lists.
Responding to the Department of Health’s most recent data, the Chair of the Health Committee said:
“Today’s news that waiting times for diagnosis and treatment of various cancers have been reduced is very welcome and assuring news for some cancer patients across the north.
“The anxiety of patients was heightened during COVID-19 with the cancellation of red flag and other cancer surgeries exacerbating the existing pre-pandemic waiting lists, adding unimaginable stress for patients and their families.
“For some procedures we are still significantly off our targets, however the data shows that in June 2021 we have seen an improvement in patient waiting times for referrals and first definitive treatments.
“This positive development is testament to the dedication, determination and hard work of so many of our professionals across the health sector.
“It is also a great relief to patients that the Department and Trusts are moving in the right direction in dealing with this crisis.
“It is vital that this improvement continues so we can provide hope to the patients awaiting treatment for cancer and other illnesses.”