National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 Implementation Report 2018

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D., today, World Cancer Day, launched the first implementation report on the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026. The report sets out the progress achieved on the implementation of the 52 recommendations of the Strategy and the degree to which the key performance indicators are being met.

This Report highlights key developments in implementing the recommendations of the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026” said the Minister. “It is particularly fitting to mark World Cancer Day with the release of this Implementation Report”.“Much progress has been made since the launch of the Strategy last year. I know that the work being done in implementing the Strategy is making a real difference in the prevention and early detection of cancer, while ensuring that the supports are in place for those living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis.”

Prevention and Early Diagnosis highlights include:

·        legislation on standardised retail packaging for tobacco;

·        the passage of the Public Health Alcohol Act 2018;

·        the integration of cancer prevention into the messaging under the Healthy Ireland Initiative;

·        progress towards a national skin cancer prevention plan; and

·        the uptake rates for cancer screening.

Highlights in Treatment and Survivorship include:

·        new posts in medical and surgical oncology;

·        the commissioning of 2 new linear accelerators in St Luke’s Hospital;

·        the progress of construction work on a new radiation oncology centre in Cork University Hospital towards completion in Q1 2019;

·        publication of a Model of Care for Oral Anti-Cancer Medications

·        the commencement of the roll-out of a National Cancer Information System;

·        the progress being made by Working Groups on Survivorship and Psycho-Oncology;

·        the appointment of a National Clinical Lead for psycho-oncology; and

·        establishment of a Cancer Patient Advisory Committee.

Minister Harris said “The challenges facing us in cancer are significant.  The recent annual report of the National Cancer Registry indicated that approximately 22,640 cases (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers and non-invasive cancers) are diagnosed each year.  While projections indicate that the number of people with cancer will increase significantly with our increasing and our ageing population, we have a pathway laid out in the Strategy that will lead to many potential cancers being prevented, and to continuous improvements in the treatment and follow-up services available to patients with cancer“.

The past year also brought significant challenges with regards to cervical cancer.  We will take a number of very important steps this year towards achieving our goal of effectively eradicating this cancer.” said the Minister.

Minister Harris said that 170,000 people are living with and beyond cancer in Ireland.  “The scale of the impact of cancer in our country is clear.  We have made a good start on the implementation of what is a 10-year undertaking. I look forward to the continued implementation of the National Cancer Strategy, ensuring that the goals of the Strategy – to reduce the cancer burden, provide optimal care, maximise patient involvement and quality of life and enable and assure change – are fully realised.”

Continued implementation of the National Cancer Strategy is identified as a key priority in the HSE’s National Service Plan for 2019, which will build on the progress made on the Strategy recommendations to date.

The Implementation Report 2018 can be found at:

The full text of the National Cancer Strategy is also available on the Department website at:

The HSE’s National Service Plan for 2019 can be viewed on the HSE website through:

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