TO: MATTHIAS SCHUPPE, PROJECT LEADER, EUROPEAN BEATING CANCER PLAN
3 MARCH 2020
Dear Mr Schuppe,
This submission is from the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), an umbrella federation of 28 European organisations of professionals related to oncology working in cancer at a European level, closely advised via 17 European patient advocacy groups. We convene work on policy issues, advocating for positive change and speak up for the European cancer community as a whole in their important work.
We strongly encourage the Cancer Plan authors to carefully review the submissions made by our member societies and by patient groups, recognising the value of the work they have done their ongoing commitment. This will ensure that the Cancer Plan does not attempt to “re-invent the wheel” and instead uses the scientific and medical expertise of our members, together with the input of our patient groups, to rapidly progress initiatives that are based on solid experience and ready for implementation. We stand ready to support the Commission in their approach to our various members, in order to offer a combined approach to actions that will be determined during these consultations.
You will find below, and in our attached submission references to only a small portion of items of European value that our members are leading for the purpose of improving cancer care. To further bring together this work, ECCO will be convening Networks of stakeholders on a range of key topics. These Networks have the intention of supporting Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan by maximizing collaboration between professionals, patients and others for clear common purpose. ECCO and its members therefore offer themselves as a resource of expertise for the EU Commission as it finalises the plan this year, and as it conducts implementation activity from 2021. The Focused Topic Networks being established are provided in annex to our submission.
We as a community, feel a strong sense of responsibility for ensuring that Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is a success for citizens and patients. As not-for-profit organisations with contributions made by volunteer oncology professionals and patients, we recognise that a large part of the Plan’s success will be based on mutual collaboration across the various disciplines and professions within cancer care.
Make use of the army of expert societies at your disposal.
For this reason, in order to support the collaboration required to realise the Plan’s objectives, and make the most of the expertise, multi-stakeholder perspective, local insight and pan-European reach in our community, we recommend the establishment of a dedicated Beating Cancer Plan Funding Framework for Not–for-Profit medical, scientific and patient organisations. The majority of these organisations work in a highly efficient manner, to achieve maximum impact with very modest budgets, but are regularly distracted from their work by needing to attract the funding necessary to maintain high level output. A Beating Cancer Plan Funding Framework to support such organisations in delivering agreed outputs of the Plan would therefore maximise efficiency by quickly springing into action the army of supportive medical, healthcare professional and patient associations eager to make a tangible contribution.
For this first consultation deadline of 3rd March 2020, ECCO provides the enclosed interim response. It outlines 12 thematic areas we recommend find coverage within the Beating Cancer Plan. These points were agreed by our membership in 2019, prior to the publication of the consultation. Further representations from ECCO will follow and we look forward to ongoing dialogue. We also refer you to all the 28 member societies of ECCO and the 17 patient organisations we work with, for direct exchange.
Dr. Matti Aapro
The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO)
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Published: 24 March 2020