Action needed on Cancer screening services

Dublin Fingal TD and Fine Gael Spokesperson on Climate Action, Alan Farrell, has called on the Taoiseach to address a looming crisis in Ireland’s Cancer services.

Speaking in the Dail on Wednesday, June 30th, Deputy Farrell sked the Taoiseach, “To commit to a strategy and public awareness campaign to ensure that as many people as possible are encouraged to return to their Cancer screening services.”

“Covid-19 and the recent cyberattack on the HSE have had a profound impact on the health services in Ireland and this is particularly true of Cancer services. We know that early detection is of paramount importance for a patient’s chances of beating the disease.”

“Recently in the Oireachtas Health Committee the IMO and Irish Cancer Society, cited their concerns at a drop in the number of patients attending chemotherapy and radiotherapy, just 70% and 80% respectively in 2020 as compared to 2019. This is despite the fact that anticipated demand for these services should see a 5% increase each year.”

Deputy Farrell continued, “These trends highlight the need for urgent action within the Department of Health to address what may be a surge in demand for Cancer services as early detection and detection of ‘Pre-Cancers’, has been curtailed since the onset of the pandemic. Such action by the Department should include a wide reaching public awareness campaign aimed at reinforcing the early warning signs, as well as, a dedicated unit within the Department.”

“We can save thousands of lives by acting now, to address this serious issue.” Deputy Farrell concluded.