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Several leading clinicians and signatories have written to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly urging him to take action to prepare for an unprecedented rise in cancer cases in Ireland due to missed diagnoses and treatment gaps caused by Covid-19.
The letter from Cancer Trials Ireland, a copy of which has been obtained by the Medical Independent, states that it has noted a 40 per cent reduction in clinical trials activity in 2020 and points to objective evidence from the National Cancer Control Programme indicating that the numbers of patients with newly-diagnosed cancers has reduced. The letter is co-signed by the Irish Cancer Society.
“We feel at this juncture that a taskforce of stakeholders in diagnosis, screening, and treatment of cancer should be convened as a matter of urgency to review and propose necessary changes to the roadmap to address how we can ameliorate and prevent the increased cancer suffering we will see in our communities due to the pandemic,” according to the letter.
It was signed by Ms Eibhlín Mulroe, CEO of Cancer Trials Ireland; Dr Jonathan Westrup, Chair, Cancer Trials Ireland; Prof Ray McDermott, Clinical Lead, Cancer Trials Ireland; Prof Seamus O’Reilly, Vice Clinical Lead, Cancer Trials Ireland; and Mr Conor King, Acting CEO at the Irish Cancer Society.
See news interview, Cancer care without borders – Medical Independent