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Home Industry News Shadow health secretary blasts cancer survival rate ‘disgrace’

Shadow health secretary blasts cancer survival rate ‘disgrace’

2nd October 2007

Speaking at the opening session of the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, the shadow health secretary has described the cancer survival rates in the UK as a “disgrace”, noting that they are below those measured on the continent.

Andrew Lansley has called for greater freedom within the NHS, with greater autonomy for healthcare professionals who are then more accountable to patients, with greater choice offered through increased competition.

He called for a new cancer strategy to promote prevention of the disease, increase awareness of symptoms and encourage earlier diagnosis of the condition and speedier treatment.

Mr Lansley said: “You know it is a disgrace that our survival rates from cancer are so far below those in Europe.

“If we were to achieve European averages, we would save an extra 24 lives a day. If we achieve the best in Europe, we would save 95 lives a day from cancer.”

He added that it is scandalous that Britain is a leading centre for cancer research yet is one of the slowest to take up new treatments for the disease.

In October 2006, former party leader and shadow foreign secretary William Hague stated that the NHS must remain free at the point of use, arguing in favour of private sector involvement on the condition that such investment is on terms of the health service.

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