The impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients has been a top priority in all of the SNP Scottish Government’s planning which is why the majority of cancer treatments have, and will, continue throughout the pandemic.
The SNP Scottish Government have invested £10 million to support cancer services during and beyond the pandemic, which will support access to cancer services including diagnostics and staffing; and have utilised private sector capacity and extended working days and weekend working to support vital cancer services.
Diagnosing and treating cancer will remain a priority for me and the SNP Scottish Government through our new Cancer Recovery Plan with a planned investment of up to £114.5 million over the next two years.
The Cancer Recovery Plan will support cancer patients to have equitable access to care regardless of where they live, improve patients’ experience of care, and roll-out innovative treatments to improve cancer services.
Furthermore, if re-elected, the SNP will:
- implement the Cancer Recovery Plan, including the £18 million partnership with Macmillan to ensure everyone with cancer in Scotland gets personalised care;
- invest a further £20 million to expand our Detect Cancer Early programme;
- retain the existing cancer targets and review whether there is merit in specific additional targets for different types of cancer and cancer treatments; and
- establish a fast-track cancer diagnostic centre in every health board area. The first three of these – in Ayrshire & Arran, Fife and Dumfries & Galloway – will be up and running by the end of May. These will help better support patients with non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer, and each patient will be supported by a ‘navigator’ so the patient will have one key contact throughout the process.
Medical research, development and innovation are an integral and vital part of the NHS and of Scotland’s health strategy, so the SNP has pledged to create an NHS National Pharmaceutical Agency to support investment in cutting edge research and development.