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‘Public holidays should not disrupt chemo treatment’ - Sheehan

8 July, 2019 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has said cancer patients scheduled to receive their treatment during public holidays should not be disadvantaged.

Speaking after it was reported that many chemotherapy appointments were cancelled in April and May, the party’s Health Spokesperson commented:

“Reports that approximately 780 patients at the Belfast Cancer Centre have had their treatments cancelled is of grave concern. 

“It’s unacceptable that these appointments were not rescheduled around the public holiday. 

“Chemotherapy patients that are due to have treatment on a day that falls on a public holiday, must not be disadvantaged.

“Cancer patients elsewhere on these islands are able to access vital treatment during public holidays. It should be no different in the north. 

“However, this is yet another example of the impact that staff shortages are having on the delivery of health and social care services. 

“Until these workforce challenges are addressed, cancer patients must be accommodated by having their disrupted appointments scheduled appropriately around public holidays.

“The Department of Health and the Health and Social Care Board must rectify this problem and ensure everyone requiring chemotherapy gets the treatment they need and which they are entitled to.” 

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