"Quality and access to cancer care in South Africa is improving, but varies widely by region, and between provinces, hospitals, the state and private sectors," said Linda Greeff, cancer survivor, founder of People Living with Cancer, and a Cancer Alliance spokesperson.
The Cancer Alliance is calling on government, industry, patients and health professionals to work together to identify appropriate solutions to improve each aspect of cancer care available and provided to all South Africans, in line with the Bill of Rights.
The Cancer Alliance is an umbrella group of 19 cancer advocacy NGOs and advocates who offer support for South Africa's cancer patients.
"There is an urgent need to improve access to screening, timely diagnosis, support care, and access to treatment via radiotherapy, surgery and medications,” said Greeff. “The challenge is vast, and it is critical that we engage the contributions and creativity of all key stakeholders to improve care and outcomes for cancer patients.”
Improving cancer care
“We must call all hands on deck to meet the challenge of improving cancer care,” said Dr Devan Moodley, a medical oncologist at Wits Oncology in Johannesburg, and board member of Campaigning for Cancer. “I want my patients to have confidence that they have the best chance possible to fight their illness and win. That’s why the Cancer Alliance will be reaching out to government, medical product suppliers, experts in community health delivery, and leading health professionals, to join us in developing innovative solutions on access to quality cancer care.”
Beginning this month the Cancer Alliance will be approaching key stakeholders in the public and private sectors, to gather data, insights and ideas on how to improve cancer treatment for all South Africans. In September 2012, the Alliance intends to publish a summary report on its findings, to be shared with the public.
“The problems are not simple, and neither will the solutions be,” said Joel Perry, Head of Advocacy at the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). “But we have access in this country to advanced medical technology, as well as the skills, expertise and good will of motivated stakeholders. The Cancer Alliance is confident that, working together, we can agree on the best ways to accelerate progress, expand access, and inspire new hope for patients affected by cancer today and in the future.”
Source: Cancer Alliance