Cancer surgery cancellations ‘potentially avoidable’

The cancellation of cancer surgeries due to Covid-19-related pressure on Northern Ireland’s health service could have been avoided, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has said.

At the end of July a number of health trusts cancelled surgeries. But the RCS has told BBC News NI that its proposals to stop surgeries being cancelled had not been implemented.

The pressures on the system were blamed partly on people not getting vaccinated for Covid-19. Officials have said that about 60% of Covid-19 patients in Northern Ireland hospitals have not been vaccinated.

On Monday, the deputy chairwoman of the British Medical Association (BMA) in Northern Ireland said vaccination complacency was also contributing to the number of Covid-19-related deaths.

Thirteen deaths linked to coronavirus were recorded on Saturday and Sunday and another 2,249 people tested positive. A further five deaths and 872 positive cases were recorded on Monday.

As well as cancer treatments, some life-saving kidney transplants could not go ahead at the weekend because not enough nurses were available to support surgeons.

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