Tuesday, April 16, 2024

New Report Calls for Overhaul of European Cancer Services to Meet Future Deman

Similar articles

A recent report published on October 11th has emphasized the necessity for a comprehensive reevaluation of Europe’s cancer services. The goal is to enhance support for healthcare workers and ensure sustainable and equitable care for all patients.

Commissioned by the EFPIA Oncology Platform and endorsed by 14 organizations, including healthcare professional associations, patient groups, and academics, the research conducted by Vintura reveals that oncology services in Europe are grappling with numerous critical challenges. These include a surge in the demand for cancer services that is surpassing the growth rate of the healthcare workforce.

With five new cancer diagnoses occurring every minute in Europe, experts predict that the region will face a shortage of 4.1 million healthcare workers by 2030. This impending shortfall will exert significant pressure on oncology care, leading to delayed diagnoses, compromised patient outcomes, overwhelmed healthcare staff, mental health challenges, and a surge in staff shortages and extended waiting lists. These factors endanger the achievement of the Europe Cancer Mission’s goal to save 3 million lives by 2030.

The report identifies three root causes contributing to the disparity between the needs of European patients and the capacity of the cancer care workforce:

  1. The European population is growing and aging, resulting in increased demand for healthcare services.
  2. Productivity in healthcare is not keeping pace with advancements in other industries.
  3. The healthcare workforce is not expanding in line with the growing demand for oncology care.

Additionally, the report underscores how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues. The pandemic led to delayed access to screening and diagnosis for patients, increased treatment effort and time for healthcare staff, high infection rates, and burnout challenges.

The report also spotlights ten case studies of innovative practices in cancer care across Europe. If scaled up, these practices could significantly benefit patients and healthcare systems in all Member States. Among these case studies, four were chosen for analysis regarding their potential for broader implementation and the advantages they offer to patients and healthcare professionals.

These four innovative practices include:

  1. Huma – Remote Patient Monitoring (Germany): Shortening post-surgery stays for colorectal cancer patients through remote monitoring can alleviate nurse workloads.
  2. ai – Artificial Intelligence Diagnostics (Italy): Utilizing AI in lung cancer screening has the potential to reduce radiologist workloads by 15%.
  3. SkinVision – Self-Screening Tests (Germany): SkinVision can reduce unnecessary visits to GPs or dermatologists and empower early detection of skin cancer through advanced home image analysis.
  4. ColoAlert – Remote Diagnostics (UK): Used to reduce colonoscopy overuse and unnecessary hospital visits through self-diagnostics.

Nathalie Moll, Director General at EFPIA, emphasized the importance of innovation in cancer care to address workforce challenges, increase efficiency, reduce costs for healthcare systems, and ultimately improve the lives of millions of European patients. To meet the impending challenges in cancer care, urgent action is required at both EU and local levels to foster innovation and implement efficient treatments and diagnostics.

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Latest article