The implementation of the National Cancer Strategy is a Programme for Government commitment, and is part of the implementation of Sláintecare. We have seen significant progress on the implementation of the Strategy over the past four years, with clear evidence-based policy direction from my Department and strong implementation by the HSE's National Cancer Control Programme.
As part of Budget 2021, an extra €20m was allocated for the continued implementation of the National Cancer Strategy this year. Additional funding of €12m was also allocated this year for the restoration of cancer services to 95% of 2019 (pre-Covid) levels. This funding is being used to support hospitals in addressing backlogs, extending clinic times, providing additional clinics, increasing diagnostic capacity and providing locum/temporary support.
It is important that our focus remains on the implementation of the National Cancer Strategy across the areas of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and patient supports, as well as on supporting cancer services to progress against the background of Covid-19, and the impact of the ransomware attack on the health service in May 2021.
Decisions on the funding of cancer services next year will be made in the context of Budget 2022. The Irish Cancer Society has presented a pre-budget submission and I can assure you that their views will be taken into account in the Service Planning process for next year.