Why can’t the Welsh Labour Government get to grips with cancer waiting times?

2012 Hydref 24 12:45 PM

Cancer waiting times released today have shown that the percentage of patients starting their treatment within the Government's target time has declined to worrying levels.

The Welsh Labour Government's target is for 95% of urgent suspected cancer patients to be seen by a cancer specialist by 62 days. Over the most recent quarter, the target was missed by 10% with just 85.3% of patients being seen within the target time - a 3% drop compared to the previous quarter.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"It is very worrying that, once again, the Welsh Labour Government is failing to get a grip on cancer waiting times. The Health Minister has said previously that she has demanded 'urgent action' to deal with these worrying statistics. If this is the result of her 'urgent action', she must immediately reassess what she has done because missing the target by 10% is wholly unacceptable.

"Waiting more than 62 day for treatment is horrendously long and for many patients could mean the difference between life and death. It is crucially important that all urgent suspected cancer patients receive treatment promptly as early diagnosis and treatment are vital to the fight against cancer.

"The people of Wales are not getting the health service that they deserve and this Labour Government is failing the people of this country. Inadequate cancer care, poor ambulance response times, massive waste and inefficiency and now longer waiting times are just the some of the problems facing the service. It is just unacceptable."

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