Ireland could see as many as 1,800 extra cancer deaths over the next 12 months if the health service does not reverse the decrease in GP referrals for diagnosis, Fianna Fail health spokesman Stephen Donnelly has warned.
Donnelly said GP referrals to rapid access clinics for cancer diagnosis had dropped by more than half, which was “in the same range” as a 76% decrease in England, where the coronavirus has threatened to overwhelm some hospitals. Research in Britain has projected an increase of 20% in annual deaths among cancer patients. A 20% increase in Ireland would equate to 1,800 deaths.
“Just on cancer alone, we could have more additional deaths than the entire fatalities from Covid-19 over a year,” said Donnelly.
Alan Kelly, the Labour