Scottish Party Leaders

YESTERDAY (18 October 2019) was Breast Cancer Now’s Wear It Pink day to raise awareness of breast cancer and raise funds to help find a cure for the cancer.

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, has taken part in the Wear It Pink day at the Scottish Parliament to spread raise awareness of the causes of breast cancer.

The local health board treats women in Dumbarton constituency when they are given a breast cancer diagnosis. Between 2012 and 2016, an average of 979 women a year developed breast cancer in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

This is around 170 women per 100,000 of the population. In the same period, an average of 206 women lost their lives to breast cancer, each year, in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Jackie Baillie said:  “Breast Cancer Now’s Wear It Pink day is a fantastic campaign which helps to spread awareness of the cause of breast cancer, the treatment on offer for sufferers, and the significant need for donations to ensure that a cure can be found for breast cancer as soon as possible.

“I encourage my constituents to go for regular check-ups to ensure that, if they do develop breast cancer, it is caught early on. We know that you have the best chance of survival when breast cancer is detected early on.

“It is fantastic that there are Wear It Pink events happening right across the country today and I look forward to seeing local residents wearing it pink for such a worthwhile cause.”

Meanwhile, figures published today by the Scottish Government’s Statistics Division have revealed that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is the worst performing health board in Scotland for the uptake of breast cancer screening.

These figures show that from 2006/07-2017/18, the health board has consistently failed to meet the uptake target of 80%, and has only met the government agreed minimum acceptable uptake target of 70% on 3 occasions. This target has not been met by the health board at all since 2011/12. 

These figures also highlighted the failure by NHS Scotland to protect the health of women from the most deprived communities in Scotland. Out of the five deprivation categories, every single one failed to meet the 80% uptake target. The two most deprived groups fell far short of even the minimum acceptable uptake figures, with only 58.5% of women in the most deprived group having gone for a breast screening between 2016/17 and 2017/18. 

These figures come amid revelations that NHS Scotland as a whole has failed breast screening patients, with the national average of uptake falling short of the 80% uptake target. 

Jackie Baillie said: “These figures are simply not good enough and are yet further proof that this SNP Government is failing to protect the health of its citizens. We know how common breast cancer is in women over 50, and we know that the best chance of beating it is when it’s caught early on.

“It is completely unacceptable that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is the worst performing health board in the country for breast cancer screening uptakes. Not achieving the target is one thing, but to not even meet the minimum acceptable uptake figure is nothing short of shameful. 

“My constituency has some of the most deprived areas in Scotland and far more must be done to ensure that women from these communities do not miss out on these vital, lifesaving screenings. It’s time that Nicola Sturgeon and her government got their act together and reversed the substantial failings that have been imposed on our health services under SNP rule.”


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