Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has used Prime Minister’s Questions to urge David Cameron to look again at national spending on brain tumour research which currently stands at just 1% of UK funding on cancer research.
Over 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year, with more children and adults under the age of 40 being diagnosed with the cancer than any other. Ahead of a debate in Parliament on Monday, Mr Carmichael asked the Prime Minister to get the Health Secretary to look at the incredibly low spending on brain tumour research.
Parliament’s Petition Committee released a report last month saying that brain tumour research is “inadequate” and “not given sufficient priority”, and on Monday there will be a 3 hour debate in Parliament on funding after a petition gathered over 120,000 signatures on the government’s website.
In the House of Commons, Mr Carmichael asked the Prime Minister:
“Brain Tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and people under 40 but despite this research into them receives just over 1% of the UK national spend on cancer research. This is going to be the subject of a debate next Monday in Westminster Hall. Will the Prime Minister have a word with his Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Health so that the minister answering that debate might be able to bring with him or her some long overdue good news of change in this area?”
Commenting afterwards, Mr Carmichael said:
“There is no community in this country that has not been affected in some way by brain tumours, yet the amount committed to its research is pitifully low. Local campaigners like Orkney’s Caroline Critchlow deserve real credit for getting this subject the attention it deserves. As a result of their efforts the Petitions Committee of the House of Commons did an enquiry and produced a very good report.
“My question to the Prime Minister today was largely to ensure all this effort from those in the Brain Tumour Research campaign is not in vain. The Prime Minister acknowledged inadequacies in cancer funding and said he would speak to the Health Secretary. We await to hear what the government minister will offer on Monday.
“Less than 20% of those diagnosed with brain tumours survive for five years and seemingly healthy young adults and children are disproportionately affected. All they want is future funding to be fair, and I hope the government will finally deliver on this.”