Britain’s continuing underfunding of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging services “is completely unacceptable” the TUC Congress will be told next week.
The SoR will call on delegates to put pressure on the government to raise investment in healthcare services to similar levels as other countries in the European Union.
Proton therapy treatment, a revolutionary technique to treat cancer, will not be available in the UK until 2018, ten years after it was introduced in Germany. UK patients who need proton therapy now have to travel overseas at a cost of more than £90,000 each.
SoR trade union and industrial relations manager Paul Maloney said: “In view of the news at the weekend that the parents of young Aysha King removed him from hospital in England and went to Spain seeking this treatment, the TUC debate could not be more timely.
“There is also an urgent need to provide proton therapy treatment here in the UK where we have the skills so that patients and their families do not have to travel abroad for treatment that not only saves lives but is also cost-effective.
“The demand for diagnostic services such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography is growing but the government has failed to increase funding of equipment and train the staff needed.
We will be saying to Congress that this unacceptable state of affairs must be immediately reviewed so that health and care services meet the needs of the population.
“The government is not meeting the pledge in the NHS constitution to deliver improved outcomes to patients.”