Experts from the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), have conducted a pioneering study on challenges in delivering high-quality cancer care. The research was published in the September edition of the US policy journal, Health Affairs.
Through this study, WISH aims to inspire and diffuse healthcare innovation and best practice, remaining closely aligned to the vision and mission of QF to unlock human potential and serve to underscore Qatar’s pioneering role as an emerging centre for healthcare innovation.
The research was authored by Ryan Callahan, Policy Fellow at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London, and Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH and Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London. The paper calls on policymakers to promote transparency and accountability to bring about value-based decision-making.
According to the research, the burden of cancer on public finances is a serious concern for policymakers. More people are developing cancer, and as standards of care have risen, more are surviving, requiring longer-term care. In 2010, over 13 million people developed cancer and the worldwide costs of cancer care were conservatively estimated at $290 billion. By 2030, spending on cancer care is projected to reach $458 billion.
Furthermore, cancer care costs also directly affect the patients themselves and can lead to personal bankruptcy. According to the article, cancer patients in the UK spend £570 on average per month on ancillary services and indirect costs of care. In the US, cancer patients have been shown to be over 2.5 times as likely to declare bankruptcy as other patients.
Lord Darzi said: “The challenge of cancer is daunting and it will only intensify. As populations age, more people are developing cancer, they are surviving longer with it and treatment costs are soaring. The only way to help patients get the treatment they need is to ensure that money is spent effectively. Through our research into this vital issue, we hope to inspire policymakers to adopt our recommendations to meet the value challenge in cancer care and ultimately improve the lives of the populations they serve.”
An international expert group convened by WISH examined innovative ways of delivering affordable cancer care and presented its findings at the WISH Summit held earlier this year in Doha, Qatar.
For more information please visit: www.wish.org.qa
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