04 February 2020
Speaking at an event in Westminster to mark World Cancer Day, Upper Bann DUP MP Carla Lockhart has stressed the need for greater investment in our local cancer services, and for greater resourcing to go towards frontline nursing staff in cancer units across Northern Ireland.
Carla Lockhart MP said:
“As an MP I am fully behind the “I am and I will campaign” of World Cancer Day, and pledge as MP to do all I can to help more and more people overcome cancer.
Cancer rates in Northern Ireland are expected to rise by over 40 per cent by 2026. That is a huge challenge and that is why we in Northern Ireland require a Cancer Strategy to ensure those facing a battle will cancer have the best possible chance of survival.
As we move forward it is vitally important that our Health service is adequately resourced to tackle increasing cancer diagnosis. Investment in early detection, that is so important to a patient’s prognosis, must be a priority. Likewise, our hard-pressed front-line cancer healthcare workers must be given sufficient staffing cover and support to meet this growing demand for care. I know from speaking with local cancer nurses that staffing levels are a concern and I would encourage the Minister to address this as a priority. In Upper Bann, I would also urge the Minister to reconsider the decision to close Breast Screening Services ibn Craigavon Area Hospital. This is a retrograde step and defies logic.
With World Cancer Day marked today, we focus our thoughts on those facing this battle but also how we shape services to ensure those living with a cancer diagnosis have the best chance of survival. I look forward to the Strategy being published in due course and wish the Minister well in exercising his role.”