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Cole-Hamilton: Five years since cancer target was last met

September 26, 2017 2:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has branded the SNP Government's record on tackling long cancer waiting times as "simply unacceptable" after new figures show that it has been five years since it last met the 62-day waiting time target.

Figures published today by ISD Scotland show that performance continues to get worse, with only 3 of 14 NHS boards meeting the 62-day cancer treatment target. The last time the target was met was in the quarter of October-December 2012. Figures also revealed a patient waiting 275 days for treatment.

Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"No matter which way you look at it; cancer waits in NHS Scotland are getting worse under the SNP. It has been five years of failure. The target has been missed for 57 consecutive months and fixing this must be a priority.

"Being told the frightening news that you have cancer, and then having to wait 300 days to receive treatment is not what patients expect of Scottish healthcare. This can only cause unnecessary anxiety and pain amongst patients and their loved ones.

"The need for the Scottish Government to meet these targets could not be clearer - early diagnosis and treatment saves lives. Now we are seeing targets missed by an even wider margin, the Scottish Government cannot continue to sit back and must provide the NHS with the resources they need to be able to turn this around."