Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

MHKs unite over cancer doctor replacement fight

Representatives in Douglas in the Isle of Man have joined forces to fight plans to replace a specialist breast cancer surgeon with a generalist.

North Douglas MHK John Houghton and East Douglas member Brenda Cannell said the existing locum surgeon had reduced surgery waiting lists.

The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer has increased by 40% over the past two years.

Campaigners claim the specialist is effective and should be retained.

The independent politicians have vowed to lobby together to ensure the post holder remains a specialist.

Plans are underway within the Department of Health to advertise for a permanent general surgeon with breast cancer experience to replace the locum.

Mr Houghton said: "Because [the locum] is in place and her work is very effective, her waiting list numbers in 2010 have reduced. The longest waiter was up to 18 months and she's got that down to up to six months for 2011.

"Yet when you take into consideration that her caseload has very greatly increased, I do feel that we need to retain the services of this specialist surgeon and that's what myself and Mrs Cannell are fighting to do."

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