Almost 150,000 fewer people have attended Ireland’s main cancer screening services in the first half of the year due to a reduction in non-Covid related care, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (ICHA) has claimed.
The association has raised many areas of concern, regarding a lack of sufficient care for oncology patients and historic underinvestment in essential services.
Professor John Crown warned that the system is now “at risk of being in real trouble” due to shortfalls in timely access to consultant appointments, scans and equipment required to monitor cancer treatment.
“The last thing patients need to hear is that we’d like to get you this scan, but we can’t do it for a month,” Crown said.
In order to tackle the problem, the IHCA is calling for the recruitment of 73 more consultant oncologists over the next eight years.