HEALTH Minister Robin Swann has welcomed the progress made so far on the development of a new cancer strategy.
Opening the Cancer Strategy 2020 Conference in Belfast today, the Minister acknowledged the progress that has been made and the combined contribution of health and social care staff, patients and local cancer charities to date.
He said: “Coproduction is an important feature of the development of this new strategy and I am very grateful to those who have given their time throughout the process. The patient voice will be key to ensuring that the strategy delivers the best standard of services and improves outcomes for people in NI and I thank everyone for their input to date.”
Addressing the conference, the Minister also recognised the extent of the challenge that cancer presents to our health services and underlined the need for transformation.
He continued: “The projections for the future make stark reading with rates of cancer in NI expected to rise by 43% for men and by 40% for women by 2026. It is imperative that we act now to meet the challenge. It is very clear we will need to identify new ways of working and the delivery of the new strategy will help us do that.”
Chief Nursing Officer Charlotte McArdle, Chair of the Department of Health steering group tasked with developing the new strategy, said: “Good progress has been made on the development of the new strategy. We have mapped out an overview of how and where services are currently delivered against what is required to achieve a high performing cancer service for all patients.
“As we move into the third and final phase of development, today’s conference provides us with an opportunity to confirm, check and add to the information and work developed to date on cancer services.”