The growing cancer incidence is posing a huge challenge on the health systems of European countries. Improving survival through high quality care is an overlying challenge for all agencies involved.

There are marked differences in survival in Eastern European countries belonging to the former European Eastern block with respect to the Nordic Countries and several Central and Southern European countries. The application of improved therapeutic protocols and tools may only partially explain the differences in survival trends among countries.

The reduction of public funds for health care services, caused by the global economic crisis or the imposed drastic austerity measures on public health care systems in the countries more severely affected by the financial crisis, are also related to the sub-optimal access of whole populations to standard and tertiary care. Improving services, survival and reducing inequalities are important objectives of both patient and provider organisations, particularly in oncology.

The ECPC and the OECI are strongly engaged to find answers for the patients and for the public health care services in order to find possible solutions that could reduce the fragmentation in high quality cancer treatments, and at the same time, the cross border migration of patients. OECI and ECPC will work to find solutions that assure access of all cancer patients to quality front line cancer care without exclusions.

The two organisations will debate on the above questions, on February 18th 2014, within the European Parliament. The roundtable will include patient organisations, representatives of national and international public institutions involved in health and cancer care policy and economics, health and cancer care delivery, research, health technology assessment and public health.

We will keep you posted on the programme of this event.

For additional information, please contact, mihaela.militaru@ecpc.org/