Socio-economic factors determine cancer survival – O’ Reilly
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on health, Louise O’ Reilly TD has expressed her dismay at the report published today by the National Cancer Registry which shows that cancer sufferers living in deprived areas are 40% more likely to die from their cancer within five years of diagnosis.
Deputy O' Reilly said:
“If you are from a socio-economically disadvantaged background in this country, you are more likely not only to contract cancer, but you are less likely to survive that cancer and it shows that treatment levels are low in areas of social deprivation.
“This is an absolutely shocking statistic and goes to show the inequality that exists at the heart of our society.
“The fact is, and it’s been said of Britain, that there is a post code lottery. This exists here. If you live in an area of social deprivation, then you’re not only more likely to contract cancer, you’re more likely to suffer an adverse outcome as a result of it and that is not acceptable.
“Today my colleague Deputy David Cullinane moved a bill which if passed, would make government departments compelled to equality proof new measures, policies and budgets. This would mean that those in society who have been left behind in our so-called recovery would have some degree of protection so that they are not as disproportionately affected by government policy.
“What we saw today in the National Cancer Registry Report is evidence that in fact this bill can’t be passed soon enough because the decisions that we’re taking here are having serious implications. Our existing policies simply aren’t working. This is having a real and serious impact on citizens’ health and wellbeing and it is within our power to take steps to tackle social inequality.”