Following the discussion of a 6,000 strong petition in the Senedd, Janet Finch-Saunders, Assembly Member for Aberconwy, and Member of the Petitions Committee, has responded positively to calls for the Welsh Government to make high-quality, multi-parametric MRI (mpMRI) before biopsy scans available to all eligible men across Wales, including Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
“Here in the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
“Prostate cancer is a serious killer. Indeed, it has been put to me that that the number of deaths it causes equates to a jumbo jet full of men crashing into the Great Orme every ten days.
“Thankfully, awareness of prostate cancer seems to be increasing in Aberconwy, especially due to the efforts of Llandudno Lions Club, which has been selflessly raising money to fund free clinics annually.
“However, there is major inequality across our Welsh NHS.
“The petition brought by Mr Stuart Davies goes to the heart of this as it rightly points out that whilst an mpMRI scan is available free of charge in three health boards, residents have had to pay for it at others, including at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
“MpMRI scans are extremely important as I understand that they improve the number of aggressive prostate cancers being caught, and can reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies.
“Given the apparent effectiveness of this test, it is clear to me that the current inequality between health boards cannot continue. Indeed, the Welsh Government need to take urgent measures because men across Wales must have equal free access to prostate cancer tests.
“Going forward, I have now asked Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Care, to advise whether the Welsh Government will make finance available to ensure that mpMRI scans can be offered free of charge at every health board”.
Written Assembly Question:
Will the Minister state whether the Welsh Government will make finance available to ensure that mpMRI scans are available free of charge at every health board in Wales?
Janet with Mr Stuart Davies, Mrs Davies, and Mr Geoff Ryall-Harvey, Chief Officer, Community Health Council.