Cole-Hamilton criticises “scandalous” cancer waiting times

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today branded waits for cancer treatment “scandalous” as new statistics show just three NHS boards are meeting the critical waiting time target.

Statistics published today by ISD Scotland show 82.4% of patients started treatment within the 62-day standard during the quarter ending June 2019, compared to 84.6% for the same quarter the year before.

The 62-day standard was only met by NHS Borders, NHS Lanarkshire, and NHS Orkney.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex-Cole Hamilton MSP said:

“The Scottish Government’s record on cancer waits is scandalous.

“The bad news for patients is the SNP don’t even expect to meet this target until 2021 - nearly ten years after originally planned. Speedy diagnosis and access to treatment are key to improving someone's chances of survival so it's absolutely critical we see improvements to the system much quicker than that.

“Ministers have a responsibility to properly resource the NHS to turn this around. The Health Secretary must set out in detail how she will urgently increase capacity in cancer detection and treatment to deliver the care that people need."

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