Is the UK’s new all-in-one health condition strategy another policy misstep?

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 27, 2023
European News Rad Oncology

“The strategy will need to address the persistent failure to hit cancer targets — with clear metrics for progress and success, with clarity on who is accountable for delivery and performance, and ideally independent oversight of that performance,” wrote the organization’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell in an op-ed.

Is a new plan the answer?
In addition to delaying diagnosis and yielding inferior patient outcomes, Sullivan worries the Major Conditions Strategy will cause Britain to clash with internationally accepted benchmarks followed by the rest of the world, as well as public opinion and common business sense for delivering affordable, better care.

“You need to have a really good handle on the tariffs or the economics of delivering your cancer care,” he said. “You can’t achieve that with a generic plan.”

Cancer diagnoses in the U.K. are expected to rise one-third by 2040, bringing the number of new cases annually to over half a million, according to Cancer Research UK. In their op-ed, Sullivan and Aggarwal argue that a generic chronic disease strategy sends the message that the government does not consider cancer a political priority and is not willing to address the complexity and escalating costs associated with it.

“There doesn’t seem to be a reasonable explanation from everyone, except to say that there seems to be this idea that they wanted the problems in cancer to go away, and to make them go away, what you do is hide them in a generic plan,” said Sullivan. “That’s the only explanation that we can come up with that seems to be heuristically accurate.”

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