The 2017 policy report from the All.Can initiative, calling for greater efficiency in cancer care, has been peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Cancer Policy.
All.Can was set up to bring together all sectors (patient groups, healthcare professionals, policymakers, research, and the private sector) to help determine what matters most to cancer patients, developing policy that tackles inefficiencies and better allocates limited resources for the best possible care.
In the Journal of Cancer Policy publication, All.Can explores how, though the field of cancer has seen tremendous advances in treatment and care in recent years, waste and inefficiency may threaten our ability to offer future generations high-quality, sustainable cancer care.
‘As a patient, it’s extremely frustrating and desperately worrying to be told that there isn’t enough money to fund the cancer care, support and treatments you need when there is so much obvious waste within the healthcare system.’
Kathy Oliver, Co-Director and Chair of the International Brain Tumour Alliance and member of All.Can
A key message from All.Can is that we need to focus first and foremost on what matters most to patients – and by doing this, we’ll improve the overall efficiency of cancer care. Surprisingly, the patient perspective is rarely central to the way we deliver, plan or evaluate cancer care. And without meaningful patient-relevant outcomes data, we end up making decisions based on what limited and blunt measures are available, not necessarily what is important to patients.
What is needed is a move away from short-term policy fixes and cost-containment efforts that do not consider the impact of proposed changes on patients. We need to invest in publicly reported outcomes measurement across cancer care, and further explore pragmatic mechanisms that allow the systematic identification and removal of inefficiencies in cancer care over time.
Another important point made in the report is that solutions do not always require pumping more money into healthcare systems, but rather using what we already have in the most effective way. Innovation does not always need to be costly – and the publication gives many examples which demonstrate this in practice.
All.Can is determined to take forward the mission statement laid out in its report in the coming months, bringing concrete solutions to policymakers through research and engagement.
A first step is to bring together all sectors, from prevention all the way to follow-up care, and everything in between. This must be an international effort, taking into account country specificities and challenges. Today more than 120 stakeholders, representing multiple disciplines, are committed to driving All.Can’s vision forward globally – with national All.Can initiatives complementing the work of All.Can international.
Dr Matti S. Aapro, Dean of the Multidisciplinary Oncology Institute and member of All.Can, said:
‘All.Can was established to create political and public engagement on the need to improve the efficiency in cancer care, by focusing on what matters most to patients. Our research poses important questions for how we must shape cancer care in the future. By involving so many different organisations in its work, All.Can can make a real impact on future cancer policy and practice.’
All.Can will be present at the ESMO conference on 8–11 September, presenting a poster during the Health Economics session on Sunday the 10th.