Council discusses Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan

18/03/2021 29 Views

On March 16, EU health ministers discussed the recently unveiled Europe’s beating cancer plan, expressing their strong support and commitment to it. Many delegations emphasised that the plan was complementary to their national strategies and stressed the need to take into account the different starting points in member states.

The Commission set the scene by presenting the cancer plan which is based on four key action areas: prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, improvement of quality of life. The COVID-19 pandemic has a big impact in delayed detection and treatment of cancer cases, hence the need for the fight against cancer to remain a high priority.

In this context, ministers identified prevention and early detection as priority objectives in many member states; particularly measures targeting tobacco and harmful alcohol consumption. Several ministers also underlined the importance to reduce inequalities in cancer prevention and care across the EU, both between and within member states.

Some delegations also emphasised the importance to involve member states in the implementation of Europe’s beating cancer plan, and to use specific indicators to monitor it.

Ministers also stressed how crucial the use and sharing of medical and scientific data can be in the fight against cancer. The digitalisation of medical services is seen by ministers as an opportunity for member states to cooperate further, exchange information and help each other. Many stressed the importance of ensuring that health data are secured and anonymised.

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