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'While our parties are fighting the bit out, people are dying'

Published 18/09/2015

Kerry Irvine from Co Tyrone, whose husband Noel (54) died from pancreatic cancer in 2011, campaigns for better treatment and awareness.

"Delays in treatment or accessing drugs are a disgrace. The issue over the drugs fund is such a huge problem and it is frightening that it comes down to someone sitting in an office deciding whether your life is worth so many pounds and you can have the treatment. Any delay in treatment, it doesn't matter what cancer you have, impacts the prognosis. To know that there is a delay in treatment because of money is even scarier. While political parties fight the bit out, people are dying. That is the reality of it. Their treatment is being held up - that is the bigger picture and it is not good enough.

"The people of Northern Ireland deserve their representatives to do what they were elected to do, and that includes the Health Minister. When you are faced with the horror of possibly losing a loved one you want them to have the best treatment and to have the drugs that could give them as long as possible to be with you.

"It is not good enough that we are having to fight and keep fighting for drugs. I spoke to Edwin Poots and Jim Wells about this fund when they were both Health Ministers. A decision has to be made extremely quickly and it is long overdue. People are also waiting far too long to see doctors."

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