A report released by the Scottish Executive says that almost 25 percent of cancer patients in the country are not being treated for their condition within the targeted time of two months. The current data is centered around the period between April to June 2005.
The report said that just about 75 percent of all cancer patients were treated in that period. But the rate fell to 60 percent for bowel cancer patients and those with lymphatic system cancer. 86 percent of melanoma and ovarian cancer patients were treated, while 85.9 percent breast cancer patients and 70.4 lung cancer patients had access to treatments in under 60 days.
Scottish Health Minister Andy Kerr said that although there was progress, the treatment times needed to be speeded up, 'We set a stretching target, and have always recognized it will be difficult to meet. More and more Scots are living with and beating cancer,' he said. 'But that doesn't take away the concerns and anxieties felt by anyone who thinks they might have it. We must reduce waiting times.'
He added that by the end of the year the targets would be met and that the benefits of all the investments that have been made into the health system would be reflected in the performance reports.