RCR criticizes new cancer proposals in U.K.

General practitioners must have better access to cancer tests, including CT scans, and fewer restrictions for referring patients, according to new recommendations made by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

However, the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) believes the proposals do not take into account the fact that National Health Service (NHS) radiology services are "struggling to cope with current levels of demand."

NICE is encouraging a new symptom-based approach designed to save more people who have the disease with updated and redesigned guidelines designed to help physicians recognize the signs and symptoms of 37 different cancers and refer people for the most appropriate test faster.

An RCR survey found that some 300,000 patients wait more than a month for the results of x-rays and other scans, and NICE's proposal to lessen the requirements for a patient referral will worsen the problem, it believes.

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