19 June, Bratislava, Slovakia: Enough is enough! People are dying from cancer in Slovakia at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in Europe – 20% higher, in fact, than the EU average. Not surprising: Slovakia is lagging far behind developed EU countries on virtually every level of cancer care – from prevention, to screening, to treatment. The situation is unsustainable.
That's the backdrop to an international cancer conference to be held on Tuesday, 20 June in Bratislava.
OnkoAlliance Slovakia (OAS), together with the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic, will welcome experts from abroad to analyse the situation in Slovakia and propose clear steps to improve cancer care here.
Two featured organisations at the conference, the European Cancer Organization (ECO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), have extensive experience building effective cancer networks.
For the European Cancer Organisation in particular, this is a historic moment: 'cancer screening from policy to implementation' is the national campaign it's launching at the conference to advance early detection programmes.
This conference represents a unique opportunity, on so many levels. For the first time, all domestic stakeholders in the fight against cancer will publicly debate ideas with key players at the EU level. Participants from patient organisations, doctors, and members of the healthcare committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic will get to hear about successful EU programmes and draw inspiration from the best practices abroad. The conference gives us an opportunity to learn from their successes, and from the possible missteps of others and how to avoid them.
This conference is pivotal in raising awareness to both the public and to policymakers, of the pressing issues in cancer care. Improving cancer care should be among the top priorities of Slovakia's new government.
An integral part of the conference will be the unveiling of new data on Slovakia's performance on cancer policies and its implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. It's all part of the new Country Report of the European Cancer Pulse, a user-friendly digital tool that provides a vast array of facts and figures and allows easy comparisons between countries and within countries.