Access to radiotherapy

Access to radiotherapy

On 15 October 2020, Slovenian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Irena Joveva of the Renew Europe Group tabled a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:

“At least a quarter of people in Europe who should be receiving radiotherapy are not currently receiving it, while demand keeps rising and is expected to grow by 16 % in the next five years. The issues oncological patients are currently facing are long waiting times and no access to treatment due to outdated equipment or a lack of it.

What is the Commission intending to do to support radiotherapy programmes and hospitals throughout Europe in enabling better and faster accessibility to therapy for more cancer patients?”

On 8 January 2021, Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, responded on behalf of the European Commission reporting:

“Improving access to radiotherapy programmes will be part of the objectives of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, to be presented in the beginning of 2021. The Plan will include proposals to support Member States to strengthen integrated and multidisciplinary cancer care, including treatment of cancer patients.

In addition, the Commission will support the security of the supply of radioisotopes for cancer diagnosis and care, and enhance the quality and safety of radiation technology in medicine. This will be done through the Strategic Agenda for Medical Ionising Radiation Applications of nuclear and radiation technology (SAMIRA), which will provide guidance on EU research, innovation, and education of medical professionals in radiology, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine.”


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