Rachel Morrogh Pre-Budget submission

Budget 2021: €30m needed for struggling cancer services

Irish Cancer Society: €20m required to help catch up on chronically underfunded National Cancer Strategy and €10m needed to address growing backlogs

The Government must invest €30m in cancer services in the upcoming Budget, the Irish Cancer Society has said.

The Society’s pre-Budget submission outlines the need for €20m in ring-fenced funding to kick start the National Cancer Strategy's ambition, and also the provision of €10m in additional funding to address backlogs in cancer services.

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 Sadly we have had almost no money dedicated to the implementation of the National Cancer Strategy over recent years. The lack of Government funding has meant a lack of investment in innovation, new services and addressing unmet needs of cancer patients – instead cancer services have been stretched to the point of breaking. This needs to change.

Irish Cancer Society Director of Advocacy Rachel Morrogh
Rachel Morrogh Pre-Budget submission2

“The lack of funding for cancer has led to missed performance targets, waiting lists, unfilled posts and under-developed services. These were all problems in cancer services pre-Covid-19, and the pandemic has only made things worse. Continuing to demand that healthcare professionals and cancer services do more with less will ultimately impact negatively on patients.

“Budget 2021 is an opportunity to claw back some of the ground that has been lost due to underfunding in recent years. Over 9,000 people die from cancer every year in Ireland and we want to ensure the National Cancer Strategy meets its target of being in the top quarter for five-year survival among EU member states.

“The stark choice is that either proper funding is provided to resource the National Cancer Strategy, which would both save and improve the lives of struggling cancer patients all around the country, or the pattern of underfunding continues, and services and healthcare professionals remain overwhelmed, leading to the risk of worse outcomes for patients,” Ms Morrogh said.

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