Press Release

Varadkar announces international evaluation of Ireland’s cancer strategy

A team of three international experts has been appointed by Health Minister Leo Varadkar to evaluate Ireland’s current national cancer strategy and to provide advice for the next one.

Minister Varadkar met with the team of international cancer experts today as they kick off a week of meetings with a broad range of stakeholders during their visit to Ireland. The group comprises Professor Pádraig Warde from Ontario, Professor Alison Richardson of Southampton and Professor Harry de Koning of Rotterdam. All three are internationally recognised experts in the field of cancer.

“We are delighted that this group of distinguished cancer experts has agreed to evaluate our current cancer strategy and I extend my sincere thanks to them. Their research and advice will be invaluable in drafting the next national cancer strategy. I look forward to receiving their report,” Minister Varadkar said.

The evaluation process is the first step in developing a third national cancer strategy to run from 2016, and will be followed by a broad consultation process. The current approach set out in A Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland was formulated in 2006, and has made significant progress in providing cancer services, particularly in terms of the eight cancer centres now providing advanced cancer treatment services and in screening programmes. The expertise available in these centres is widely acknowledged across Ireland and the plan is to build on this in the future.

The main challenges facing Ireland during the ten year period of the new Strategy are likely to be:
• Minimising the increase in cancer numbers;
• Bringing services for cancer treatment on a par with the top international performers;
• Maximising holistic recovery among cancer patients.

Ends

The Evaluation Group comprises:

• Professor Pádraig Warde, Interim Vice President of Clinical Programs & Quality Initiatives of Cancer Care, Ontario. Professor Warde is Chairperson of the Group.

• Professor Alison Richardson, Clinical Professor of Cancer Nursing and End-of-Life Care at the University of Southampton and Southampton General Hospital.

• Professor Harry de Koning, Professor of Public Health and Evaluation of Screening at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam.