Cancer clinicians are urging the public to help their patients get the vital care they require by taking up the offer of vaccination and continuing to do all they can to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Clinicians are concerned that the care of people waiting for treatment with other serious conditions, such as cancer, is being delayed as a direct result of the continued impact of COVID 19 on hospitals.
In a statement issued via the NI Cancer Network, clinicians reiterated their desire to ensure that patients receive the best possible care but outlined how services are continuing to be hindered by the pandemic.
Dr Kathryn Boyd, Medical Director, NI Cancer Network said; “Specialist theatre and intensive care staff are once again caring for patients with COVID -19 and as a result, diagnostic surgical procedures and surgical cancer treatments have been/are being postponed.
“I would like to assure patients that their cases will be prioritised for re-scheduling as soon as possible. However we very much recognise the anxiety and the very real impact this has on patients and their families. It is a matter of great regret and distress to everyone working in the health service.
“We must do all we can to reduce the period where so many of our specialist staff are not available for cancer surgery. The impact of this will be continued delays in cancer diagnosis, delays in surgical treatment, more suffering for cancer patients, and may risk more untimely deaths from cancer.
“Everyone across society has a role to play in stopping this happening.
“We must all keep playing our part in driving down the Coronavirus infection rate in the community in order to decrease the number of people in hospital with Covid-19.
“NICaN appeal to the public to take up the offer of COVID-19 vaccination, and continue to stay safe by helping prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Please follow the public health advice to: