Scotland has unveiled a new £100-million strategy to tackle cancer by improving prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and after care for those affected by the disease.
The Scottish government says its strategy Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action, which houses more than 50 actions, will serve as the future blueprint for cancer care in the country over the next five to ten years.
The plans include £50 million for radiotherapy equipment and to support radiotherapy recruitment and training, £9 million over five years to ensure better support for people with cancer and their families, £5 million to target reducing inequalities in screening uptake, and an additional £10 million to support swift access to diagnostics for people with suspected cancer.
Also, £7.5 million has been promised to support improvements in surgical treatments, £3.5 million to drive improvements across the palliative care sector and to support targeted action on training and education, and £5 million to support waiting times performance.
“Cancer services have come a long way over the past ten years, with cancer mortality rates down 11 percent, however, we know more needs to be done,” said Health Secretary Shona Robison. “Through this strategy we are aiming to reduce health inequalities and improve the experience of and outcomes for people with cancer across Scotland”.
“Scotland’s cancer survival still lags behind its UK and European neighbours and this strategy sets out strong ambitions and investment to help tackle this,” said Gregor McNie, Cancer Research UK’s senior public affairs manager in Scotland.
“New money for radiotherapy, including expansion of the workforce, will address the unfulfilled potential of Scotland’s world-class equipment, so that no patient misses out on effective treatment. But as more people get cancer, we need action to prevent the disease and brave new measures will be needed over the coming years,” he added.
Cancer is now Scotland’s biggest killer, with more than 80 people diagnosed every day.