On July 1st, All.Can Korea held a policy forum for the psychological support of cancer patients. The title of the forum was ‘Unattended checkpoints in cancer care : the solution is in the mind of cancer patients’ and it was broadcast live on Youtube.

For this forum, All.Can Korea collaborated with a research council in Korea National Assembly ‘Well Dying Research Council for a Dignified Life’. Total 48 stakeholders engaged in this forum including All.Can Korea.

The purpose of the forum was to recognize the importance of psychological care in cancer patients and search for effective and sustainable solution for providing psychological support to cancer patients in the local community, and to derive realistic and practical policy suggestions. In Korea, psychological support provided for cancer patients currently are mostly offered by hospitals, and thus are less accessed and utilized.

In the forum, All.Can Korea provided patient-focused policy suggestions on improving inefficiencies of existing psychological support programs for cancer patients

  • Newly establish a ‘cancer patient psychological counseling service’ in the ‘Community Social Service Program’
  • Newly establish a cancer patient psychological counseling service within the ‘Integrated Health Promotion Program in the Local Community’ program, and associate the service with public health centers
  • Develop a model for psychological support for cancer patients linked to cancer hospitals and health centers to address the emotional and psychological problems of cancer patients’ experience during diagnosis, treatment, and return-to-society after treatment in conjunction with cancer hospitals and health centers that carry out integrated community health promotion projects

In the panel discussion of the forum, stakeholders from all areas attended as panelists, including service providers, expert groups, recipients of service, media and public health authorities. The panellists exchanged views on the feasibility of proposed policies, and what is needed for effective psychological support of cancer patients from their perspectives. One of the panellists was a Director of Division of Disease Policy in Ministry of Health and Welfare, who highlighted that the Ministry of Health and Welfare concurs on the importance of providing psychological support for cancer patients and considers it as a key project.

Through this forum, All.Can Korea had the opportunity to propose policies more directly to stakeholders and hear opinions of various stakeholders involved in the psychological support of cancer patients.

Sung-chul Choi, a representative of All.Can Korea, said “The ultimate purpose of cancer treatment is not only removing all cancer cells, but also healing the cancer patient. I hope the forum today will provide an opportunity to realise the mental and psychological difficulties cancer patients experience and serve as a starting point for discussions on specific actions that should be undertaken to help our patients in need.”

All.Can Korea will continue its activities to flesh out policy proposals for supporting cancer patients, including those discussed in the policy forum.