NHS cutbacks are becoming commonplace nowadays which is an issue of great concern to anyone living in the UK. Cancer patients and their relatives are particularly concerned about these cutbacks as often it impacts their treatment. Recent news stories highlight how big of a problem cutbacks within the NHS have become. For example potentially deadly tumors are now being ignored with the recommended radiotherapy treatment being delayed due to bureaucracy. Read the full story by clicking the headline.
Potentially deadly tumours are being ignored as bureaucrats wrestle with red tape put in place this month. Consultants’ requests for radiotherapy funding have gone unanswered so they cannot refer patients for treatment.
Karol Sikora, former cancer adviser to the World Health Organisation, said: “This is outrageous. It is completely wrong to make people wait because the bureaucracy isn’t in place.
“Patients should be treated and then a review carried out later, otherwise their condition could become untreatable during the delay.”
The delays make a mockery of the Prime Minister’s pledge last October that specialist radiotherapy treatment would be offered to all those who need it. Announcing a £15million fund to improve radiotherapy services in England, David Cameron said: “This is going to help thousands of people at one of the hardest times of their lives.
Whilst cutbacks do play a big role in the treatment of cancer patients, they cannot always be blamed. For example the news story below shows that women from more affluent backgrounds are usually treated quicker than women from more deprived backgrounds although one reason for this issue is the fact that women from deprived backgrounds are less likely to report early symptoms to doctors.
Poorer women with breast cancer are less likely to be diagnosed quickly than women from affluent homes, according to new research. As a result, every year more than 450 die sooner than if they were diagnosed at the same time as better-off women.
Despite having similar cancers and screening procedures, women from poorer households were diagnosed later than wealthier ones, researchers at Leicester University found. Early diagnosis vastly improves sufferers’ chances of surviving the disease.
Researchers suggest that one reason for the different survival rates might be because women from deprived backgrounds delay reporting symptoms to their doctors.
Treating cancer patients is one of the most important aspect of any doctors career and something that must be improved in the NHS. When patients are not being seen to because of bureaucracy it’s something that must be changed.