to ensure that both the legislative and non-legislative framework related to the future European Health Union and more specifically the Europe's Beating Cancer Plan reflects the responsibilities of local and regional authorities in public health, given that 19 of the 27 Member States have opted to give LRAs primary responsibility for healthcare
to continue to prioritise health at European level and to support regional and local authorities in the fight against cancer and epidemics of diseases in cross-border health cooperation and in the modernisation of health systems
The rapporteur an opportunity to discuss with the European Parliament the Cancer Plan and the position of the CoR at the Interparliamentary Committee Meeting of the BECA Committee on “Turning the tide on cancer: the view of national parliaments on Europe's Beating Cancer Plan" as well as with the Chair of BECA Committee at the CoR NAT meeting in the context of the adoption of the draft opinion.
EP BECA Committee adopted the draft report on 9 December 2021. The draft report echoes the calls and recommendations in the CoR Opinion in multiple areas, such as, inter alia, recommending to facilitate access to cross-border health care and clinical trials for cancer patients, extend the use of joint procurement to manage shortages of cancer medicines, guarantee the 'Right to be Forgotten' to prevent discrimination and improve the access of cancer survivors to financial services, ensure equal access to innovative cancer drugs and treatments for all patients. It calls for stronger measures to address key risk factors, such as smoking and alcohol consumption (including labelling, etc.) and to extend the screening schemes, calling on the Commission to include other cancers (besides breast, cervical and colorectal cancer), based on latest scientific evidence, into the new EU-supported Cancer Screening Scheme, and recommends the creation of at least one cancer registry in each EU region.
The plenary vote on the draft report is expected to take place in early 2022.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
calls on the EU institutions to ensure that the legal framework for the envisaged European Health Union factors in local and regional authorities' responsibility for public health, given that 19 of the 27 Member States have opted to give LRAs primary responsibility for healthcare;
welcomes the aim to make the most of the opportunities for sharing medical and scientific data and digitalisation, and the fact that the envisaged European Health Data Space will make it possible to safely retrieve and share electronic health data for prevention and treatment across borders in the EU;
stresses that cancer screening and early diagnosis must be at the heart of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan and thought should be given to extending targeted screening to other types of cancer, such as prostate and lung cancer;
draws attention to the large differences in cancer incidence and mortality between and within Member States and criticises the lack of regionally disaggregated data needed to identify trends and/or address inequalities in cancer screening and treatment; calls on the Commission to launch the planned Cancer Inequalities Registry as soon as possible;
draws attention to the system of "standardised treatment" that has been introduced as a best practice in some Member States to expedite diagnosis and start treatment;
calls on the Member States to promote the accreditation of at least one cancer centre per Member State and establish an EU network of centres of excellence that makes cross-border cooperation and patient mobility easier; suggests that the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive should provide standards for cross-border screening, imaging and treatment of cancer;
points to an urgent need for measures to promote the availability of generic and biosimilar medicines; suggests exploring the possibility of extending the EU's common procurement system, conducting joint price negotiations and creating a strategic reserve for cancer medicines.