Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (360)

Thomas P. Broughan


360. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health his plans to improve services for survivors of cancer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38772/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 places a strong emphasis on providing supports to patients throughout their cancer journey.

In line with Recommendation 41 of the Strategy, I recently launched the National Cancer Survivorship Needs Assessment - 'Living with and Beyond Cancer in Ireland'. This outlines key challenges involved, and actions to be taken, to better address the needs of cancer patients and their families.

While some healthcare professionals already provide the care and support recommended in the Needs Assessment, there is a need to strengthen, standardise and ensure access for patients to good survivorship services and supports across designated cancer centres, other hospitals and primary care services, as well as in community and voluntary services.

Also, Recommendation 43 of the Strategy highlights the need for the development of dedicated survivorship programmes emphasising the physical, psychological and social factors that affect health and wellbeing. Arising from this, Cancer ‘Thriving & Surviving’ Programmes, designed to assist patients in achieving optimal quality of life on completion of treatment, are being undertaken in a number of locations nationwide.