Cole-Hamilton: Cancer targets “a distant prospect”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called for health boards to publish new action plans for eliminating long waits for cancer treatment, after new statistics reveal the 62-day target was missed in another quarter.

The statistics published today by ISD Scotland show that only 87.1% of patients were seen within the 62-day waiting time target. Only 4 out of 14 NHS boards are managing to meet this standard and the target has not been met nationally since 2012.

Mr Cole-Hamilton commented: 

"Prompt treatment saves lives but cancer waiting time targets have been missed for more than five years. Any hope of the Health Secretary getting this back on track seems like a distant prospect.

"Shona Robison should work with each health board to publish new action plans for tackling these waits, making it clear to patients how and when cancer targets will finally be met. It’s also her responsibility to ensure boards share good practice amongst themselves.

“Cancer patients already face enough uncertainty. The SNP Government must ensure NHS boards and their hardworking staff are provided with the resources they need to be able to turn this around.”

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