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'Healthcare divide' after cancer treatment figures show patients wait longer in the Highlands, claim Lib Dems


By Louise Glen

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Molly Nolan.
Molly Nolan.

Figures published today by Public Health Scotland revealed that waiting times for cancer treatment are once again longer in the Highlands than than the rest of Scotland.

The figures, published on March 30, show that between October 1 and December 31 2020, just 70.2 per cent of cancer patients within NHS Highland were treated within the 62 day standard - the worst figure in Scotland.

Across Scotland, the average percentage of people seen within the 62 day standard was 86.2 per cent- 16 percentage points above NHS Highland.

The 62-day standard states that 95 per cent of eligible patients should wait a maximum of 62 days from an urgent suspicion of cancer referral to receiving their first cancer treatment.

Meanwhile, the 31-day standard was met by all health boards apart from NHS Highland.

The 31-day standard states that 95 per cent of patients should wait no more than 31 days between the decision to treat them and that patient receiving their first cancer treatment.

Molly Nolan, Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross said: “The figures released today are shocking and really highlight the scale of the healthcare divide between the Highlands and the rest of Scotland.

“It is awful that just 70.2 per cent of people within NHS Highland are being treated within the 62-day standard for cancer care. They deserve better.

“The SNP have run Scotland’s healthcare system for 14 years. For the Highlands to be left behind after all this time just shows how little they care for our quality of life.

“I will keep fighting to make sure that people living in the Highlands get the healthcare we need and deserve. Our lives are worth just as much as those in other parts of Scotland. We cannot be left behind any longer.”

NHS Highland has been invited to respond.

Read more on Molly Nolan by clicking here.


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