Dáil Éireann - Volume 586 - 26 May, 2004
Written Answers - National Cancer Strategy.
Mr. O’Shea Mr. O’Shea
41. Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for Health and Children when he expects that the national cancer strategy will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15588/04]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin:The national cancer forum is currently developing a new national cancer strategy. This strategy will build on the progress that has been made during the implementation of the 1996 national cancer strategy and set out the key priority areas to be targeted for the development of cancer services over the coming years. The strategy will have regard to developments and best practice in other jurisdictions and will make recommendations on the organisation and structure of cancer services nationally.
A significant body of work has been undertaken in the development of the strategy to date. Representatives of the national cancer forum have met with representatives of the ERHA and all health boards. The forum wrote to over 90 professional bodies, voluntary bodies and other stakeholders to obtain their views on cancer treatment services. Members of the public have been consulted through advertisements placed in the media. As part of the preparation  of the new strategy, an evaluation of the extent to which the objectives of the 1996 strategy have been met was carried out by Deloitte Consultants and published last December. The key goal of the 1996 national cancer strategy was to achieve a 15% decrease in mortality from cancer in the under 65 year age group in the ten year period from 1994. The Deloitte evaluation demonstrated that this reduction was achieved in 2001, which was three years ahead of target.
Sub-groups of the national cancer forum were established on generic screening, organisation of cancer services, evaluation and outcomes, evidence based medicine, genetics, nursing and patient issues. The work of these sub-groups is informing the development of the new strategy. It is expected that the strategy will be completed later this year.
With regard to the implementation of the 1996 national cancer strategy since 1997, there has been a cumulative additional investment of approximately €550 million in the development of cancer services. This includes an additional sum of €15 million which was allocated in 2004 for cancer services. This substantial investment has enabled the funding of 92 additional consultant posts in key areas such as medical oncology, radiology, palliative care, histopathology, haematology and radiation oncology. An additional 245 clinical nurse specialists have also been appointed in the cancer services area.
Dáil Éireann 586 Written Answers National Cancer Strategy.