West Scotland Labour MSP Neil Bibby last week slammed the Scottish Government’s record on prostate cancer diagnoses, as well as waiting times for prostate cancer treatment in the West of Scotland in particular.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Bibby cited recently released data from Prostate Cancer UK that illustrated poor records in prostate cancer diagnosis across the UK, with Scotland the poorest-performing area by some margin.
More than one in three Scottish men with prostate cancer are diagnosed too late for a cure; that figure is just one in eight in the south-east of England. Healthcare is a devolved matter and Bibby says responsibility lies with the Scottish Government.
Mr Bibby also cited figures showing that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has notably less satisfactory performance than other health boards within Scotland for prostate cancer waiting times.
It achieves just 20% and 83% of the 31-day and 62-day prostate cancer treatment standards respectively, compared to 52% and 94% by other non-GGC health boards.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament Neil Bibby MSP said: “Tragically, Scotland has the worst figures for prostate cancer diagnosis in the United Kingdom.
“More than one in three Scottish men with prostate cancer are diagnosed too late for a cure; that figure is just one in eight in the south-east of England. What is more, the west of Scotland performs particularly poorly in terms of prostate cancer waiting times. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde significantly underperforms other health boards on treatment standards.
“The Government previously assured us that it was investigating those figures. What has been the outcome of the Government’s investigation? What is the minister doing to end the shocking postcode lottery in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment?”
Replying, Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport Maree Todd cited prostate cancel survival rates in Scotland of 84.3%, little below the national average.
Speaking afterwards, Neil Bibby MSP said: “It is true that prostate cancer 5-year survival rates in Scotland are not a great deal lower than the UK average. But this is no cause for complacency. The fact is that Scotland’s higher rate of men being diagnosed later, at stage 3 and 4, means higher rates of men going through treatment at a later stage.
“That means more men undergoing radical surgery or radiotherapy and living with the consequences – which are far worse than treatment when diagnosed and treated at stage 1 and 2.
“The Scottish Government has said it is looking into and investigating these figures. I hope it does so with urgency – and that includes those showing the West of Scotland has the worst prostate cancer waiting times in the country.”
Headline photo: Neil Bibby