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Cancer Services: Deterioration

Part of Opposition Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:30 pm on 18th October 2016.

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Photo of Pat Sheehan Pat Sheehan Sinn Féin 3:30 pm, 18th October 2016

No, I will not.

That in itself is unfair, as statistics should be used to discern patterns over longer periods of time. Let me offer the Opposition a statistic which Edwin Poots mentioned earlier: clinical outcomes for breast cancer patients are better here than in any other jurisdiction in these islands.

I return to the motion. It says that:

"only 6·7 per cent of breast cancer patients in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area were seen within 14 days".

These were not breast cancer patients. They were people who had gone to their doctor and been referred to a breast clinic. They may have had a cyst or some other issue. The vast majority of patients who are referred to breast clinics are not diagnosed with breast cancer.