Updated: 05/07/17 : 12:45:11
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Ten year cancer strategy unveiled my health minister

The new cancer strategy has been unveiled, in a bid to reduce cancer rates in the next 10 years.

Bowel and breast screening will be extended, and the push to make Ireland tobacco-free by 2025 continues, in a strategy that is predicted to cost up to €2bn in total.


Ireland has an ageing population, and is predicted to almost double its cancer rates by 2040.

Health Minister Simon Harris says he expects to spend €140m a year, not including the cost of drugs.

He said: "Implementation of this strategy will require substantial current and capital funding over the coming 10 years, but quite frankly we cannot afford not to do this.

"It is my intention to seek to ensure the necessary funding on an incremental basis through the annual estimates process."

    Key recommendations in the Strategy include:

    HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme to develop a cancer prevention function in
    conjunction with the broader Healthy Ireland initiative;

    Appropriate endoscopy capacity to be provided in hospitals to allow for the expansion of
    BowelScreen to all aged 55-74 by end-2021;

    Development of a plan to enhance the care pathways between primary and secondary care
    for specific cancers;

    HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme to develop referral criteria to ensure that GPs
    have direct access to cancer diagnostics within agreed timelines;

    The appointment of a National Lead for Cancer Molecular Diagnostics for solid and
    liquid malignancies;

    An age appropriate facility to be designated for adolescents and young adults with cancer
    within the new children’s hospital;

    Links between cancer services to be strengthened, facilitated by the appointment of a
    National Clinical Lead in Geriatric Oncology;

    Cancer consultants and Advanced Nurse Practitioners to have protected time to pursue
    research interests in their new posts;

    Appointment of a National Clinical Lead for Cancer Nursing to support practice and research;

    HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme to develop, publish and monitor a programme
    of national quality healthcare indicators for cancer care, in line with international standards.