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Plan A Blueprint For Improving Cancer Control

Monday 7 March

Action Plan A Blueprint For Improving Cancer Control

The Minister of Health launched today the Action Plan to implement The New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy.

The Action Plan provides a blueprint for improving the control of cancer in New Zealand.

“We are all too aware of the problems facing New Zealand in terms of cancer. Today’s Action Plan launch represents a significant step in addressing these by providing a planned approach, known as cancer control,” says Professor John Gavin, executive director of the New Zealand Cancer Control Trust.

“Cancer is a complex group of diseases, with more than 100 different types, with different causes, requiring different treatments. Its prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and care involves a wide range of organisations and health professionals, both government and non-government,” Professor Gavin says

The plan addresses all of these areas, identifying 178 actions to be implemented by more than 60 ‘key stakeholders’ over the next three to five years.

Implementing the plan will require increased commitment and enhanced effort by everyone involved, with everyone working together in a co-ordinated way says Professor Gavin who believes the action plan provides an opportunity for this to occur, building upon action already underway.

“It also recognises the need for formal collaboration and partnerships between government and non-government agencies (NGOs), with both contributing resources,” he says.

Of the 25 objectives of the Cancer Control Strategy, 21 involve cancer NGOs.

Professor Gavin says implementing the Action Plan will need to be staged and supported by adequate resources from both the government and non-government sectors. At present the cancer NGO sector contributes around $40 million each year to cancer control in New Zealand.

Implementation also will need to be carefully monitored to ensure that actions taken continue to be the most effective, he says.

The launch today of the action plan represents an important milestone among the joint initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Health and the Trust. This collaboration has represented a unique commitment of both government and non-government agencies to work together to minimise the incidence and impact of cancer in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy, launched by the Minister of Health in 2003, was developed jointly by the Ministry and the Trust, with funding from both agencies.

The Trust was set up with funding from the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the Child Cancer Foundation to represent the non-Government sector in facilitating the development and implementation of a cancer control strategy.

ENDS

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