In Matt Hancock, Boris has found a true dictator of the very worst kind. When asked about the continuance of cancer treatment during a possible “second wave”, all people got was a veiled threat as he said “It is critical for everybody to understand that the best way to keep cancer services running is to suppress the disease; the more the disease is under control, the more we can both recover and continue with cancer treatments”.
Cancer kills an average of 450 people every single day. It’s not seasonal, doesn’t concentrate its efforts on the elderly or infirm and in many cases is treatable only if caught early enough. To even think of repeating the decision to suspend treatments is pure genocide.
With all but the most urgent hospital procedures postponed or abandoned during the height of the pandemic in March and April, Mr Hancock admitted the number of cancer patients waiting longer than 62 days – the standard aimed for – had increased ‘substantially’. Even now, referrals are only running at 80% of their previous levels.
When asked in August how long he thought it would take for the backlog to be caught up, Mr Hancock said, “Well, I very much hope that that will happen within a matter of months.” Yet here we are, barely weeks later and he’s threatening to do it all over again. Has he not learnt from errors previously made?
The Telegraph reported an extra cancer death toll of 35,000 after the actions in March caused a virtual shut-down of the NHS, rising to potentially 200,000. Frightening figures, one would say?
The number of people – including cancer patients – waiting longer than 18 weeks for hospital treatment has risen to 1.85 million. People are dying as a result. Anything other than pledging not to let that happen again is unforgivable, yet all logic appears to fade when talking about Covid-19. It’s the politician’s “Get out of jail free” card.
There has to be accountability; individuals are accountable, company directors are accountable, there is no reason why Ministers of the Crown should enjoy indemnity personally for decisions they have made. Death on this scale led to jail sentences at Nuremberg, impeachment is still on the statute book.
Health decisions should be made by health practitioners. Having health care under political control is the true cancer in our society.
Martin Day – Party Secretary and husband to a cancer fighter.