Jersey surgeon job leads to drop in UK visits

The appointment of a new surgeon has led to a drop in the number of visits to the UK for treatment, according to the health department.

Miklos Kassai is a consultant specialising in colorectal surgery.

He says 95% of colorectal cancer patients will now be able to be treated on the island, where previously 50% would have had to travel to the UK.

A health spokesman said colorectal patients were making hundreds of trips to the UK each year.

There are about 60 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed each year and it is one of the three most common cancers for both men and women in Jersey.

Hospital director Helen O'Shea said his appointment was a significant advance for cancer patients in the island.

She said: "Travelling to the UK, usually to London in these cases, is an additional burden for patients, especially as major procedures can require them to spend up to a week in hospital, as well as needing to make further travel arrangements for their follow-up appointments.

"Most of this work will now be carried out close to patients' homes and within easy reach of their network of family and friends."

Mr Kassai took up his post in November and said all but the most complicated cases could be treated on the island.

He said: "We will make wide use of laparoscopic [keyhole] surgery, which is something that many patients in the UK do not have access to.

"This is a factor in helping patients recover faster and endure less pain as well as being cosmetically better."

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