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Cancer patients suffering due to long waits

THOUSANDS of cancer patients are dying following delays in diagnosis and treatment, damning figures show.

New analysis of NHS data released by Labour revealed huge inequalities in levels of cancer care between English regions.

In the West Midlands, more than a fifth of cancer patients face delays of over two months in having tumours removed, while in Greater Manchester the figure is less than 10 per cent.

And in West Yorkshire 43.5 per cent wait more than two months for chemotherapy, more than twice as many as in Oxfordshire. 

Delays in diagnosis are most likely in England’s most deprived areas, the stats showed.

Dr Tony O’Sullivan, Keep Our NHS Public campaign co-chair and former hospital consultant,  told the Morning Star: “These appalling long waits for diagnosis and treatment of cancer are the top of a very dark iceberg.

“They contribute to uncounted thousands of fatalities, casualties of Tory policies running down the NHS.

“Urgent and unequivocal alternatives must be presented to the population by the opposition parties.

“And the answer is not further reliance on the private sector.

“There is no spare capacity in the private sector that does not further damage the NHS by parasitising its staff and resources.

“Fund the NHS, restore pay justice for staff urgently, focus on urgent health priorities including cancer and address health and social inequalities.”

Labour shadow public health minister Andrew Gwynne said: “Receiving the fast and quality cancer care should not depend on your postcode.

“Getting cancer patients treated on time again will be a mission of the next Labour government.”

The Department of Health and Social Care was invited to comment.


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