As the COVID-19 crisis continues to put extreme pressure on health systems and economies across the world, governments are facing difficult decisions about where they should allocate their scarce health resources and there is a concern that the need to prioritize tackling the immediate pandemic will crowd-out much-needed investments in non-communicable diseases, including cancer services.
Before the pandemic countries had made variable progress in scaling up the coverage of effective cancer services and integrating cancer control programmes into national health plans. In some instances, this was due to a misconception that cancer care services were too expensive and that it wouldn’t be possible to achieve universal coverage of services through public financing.
Faced with this situation, what is the case for including cancer services within national UHC reforms ensuring that everyone receives the services they need (including preventive, curative and palliative care) without suffering financial hardship? During a time when the pandemic is disrupting cancer services across the world leading to more avoidable deaths, how can we make the case to policy makers to spend more, and better on the cancer needs of their population?
Key questions in more detail:
- How do we persuade (finance) ministers to invest in cancer prevention and control?
- How do we finance cancer prevention, control and care in limited resource settings?
- What can we learn from Taiwan’s approach to cancer prevention and control?
This event is part of the London Global Cancer Week event series.
Dr Rifat Atun, Professor of Global Health Systems, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Her Excellency Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, First Lady of Kebbi State, Nigeria and CEO of Medicaid Cancer Foundation
Chair: Robert Yates, Executive Director, Centre for Universal Health