Speaking at the launch, Minister Simon Harris said:
“I am really delighted to launch this new National Cancer Strategy 2017 – 2026. This is a document and plan which will guide the development of our cancer services for the next 10 years.
We have made good progress in terms of cancer survival rates in Ireland in the last 10 years but we have much more to do.”
“Here in Wicklow we have a number of wonderful organisations who not only support people through the very difficult period of fighting cancer but also in life after cancer. This is an element of cancer care that we now recognise to be hugely important.”
“Great strides were made under the current national cancer strategy, in centralising surgical, radiation and medical oncology services, putting in place rapid access clinics and cancer screening. Thankfully, we now have more people than ever living beyond cancer. We currently have over 150,000 cancer survivors and this number will grow as cancer incidence grows and treatments improve. It is clear that like organisations leading the way in Wicklow, we as a nation need to support patients beyond their clinical treatment.
With this strategy we aim to ensure that supports are available to help patients to return to their normal lives, backed up by primary care services and with access to acute services when required. The patient voice had been an integral part of the development of the new strategy, with the Cancer Patient Forum providing strong, informed patient input. This has proved to be invaluable in producing a strategy that is responsive to the needs of patients. Patient involvement will continue with the establishment of a Cancer Patient Advisory Committee, involving patient representatives in policymaking and planning.”
This strategy will ensure we are amongst the best European countries for cancer survival and will focus on cancer prevention, early diagnosis, improving services for children and teenagers with cancer and supporting people with cancer and their families.
“I want to thank all clinicians and patients who developed this excellent strategy and I looking forward to driving its implementation.”