Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ceisteanna (333)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

333. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a differential in cancer survival rates between the public and private health systems. [46183/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

A programme to centralise publicly-funded cancer services (particularly surgical services) to eight high-volume, specialist centres was initiated in 2007, in line with the 2006 National Cancer Strategy. This decision was based on evidence that the development of high volume hospitals leads to better outcomes for patients.

A National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) report of January 2019 confirms that the programme of centralisation of cancer services resulted in a substantial shift of cancer treatment to the eight designated cancer centres. This has contributed to on-going improvements in cancer survival.

The report also highlighting differences in the average 5-year survival rate under the following categories: designated cancer centres, non-designated public hospitals and private hospitals, as set out in Table 1.

The NCRI report emphasises the following points in discussing the survival rate data:

- Average differences in survival between categories does not necessarily apply to all individual hospitals within a category;

- Most private and non-designated public hospitals treat small numbers of cancer patients annually; and

- Further work is needed to collate comparable data on co-morbidities and on the general health of patients across hospital categories.

Table 1: Average 5-Year Survival Rate Data

Cancer

Designated Cancer Centre

Other Public Hospital

Private Hospital

Oesophagus

28%

16%

19%

Stomach

32%

24%

22%

Rectal

63%

52%

65%

Pancreatic

10%

6%

11%

Lung

23%

5%

23%

Breast

85%

81%

93%

Prostate

91%

88%

95%

Brain/CNS*

(malignant)

28%

12%

19%

Brain/CNS*

(benign/uncertain)

96%

84%

93%

*CNS = Central Nervous System.

The full text of the NCRI report is available at: www.ncri.ie/publications/statistical-reports/cancer-care-and-survival-relation-centralisation-irish-cancer.