Concerns raised at ‘inequality’ in cancer treatment

July 7, 2014

A perceived inequality in treatment offered to cancer patients in the North has been flagged up by SDLP Newry Councillor, Kevin McAteer, who has revealed that drugs available to patients in England and Wales are not available to patients here.

Commenting on the issue, Mr McAteer said: “The SDLP has brought several motions to the Assembly calling on the Health Minister to end the inequality whereby 39 cancer drugs are available in England and not available here.  It is absolutely scandalous that patients in Newry, and across Northern Ireland, are denied access to life lengthening drugs, many of which are discovered, synthesised and manufactured here.

“[Recently] my party colleague Fearghal McKinney again tabled a motion seeking to draw Health and Economic strategies together to underscore and promote Northern Ireland as a global centre of excellence for cancer treatment and research,” he pointed out, adding that he intends to raise the issue  with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and the Health Minister “as a matter of urgency”.