19. 02. 2019
The iPAAC WP4 team continues in visiting EU Member States to collect their experience in the implementation of cancer control programs.
After a three-hours train drive, we were welcomed at the ‘Bundes Ministerium for Gesundheid’ (BMG) in Bonn., where Karen Budewig succeeded in bringing the right people around the table. Thanks to the German efficiency, a video conference was organized with Dr Simone Wesselmann and Ellen Griesshammer from the German Cancer Society as well as with Fabien Lorzenz from the BMG in Berlin. After the specificities of their health care system and the construction of the National Cancer Control, the German model of CCCN and quality assurance system was discussed. We had the chance to learn from the experience of different experts at the BMG (Barbara Stum, Jeroen Khol, Fabienne Lorenz, Helou Dr., Antonius). We should admit, the German health care system is complex and highly decentralized but the Germans found innovative ways to deal with the challenges it brings!
After a short introduction in the patient hotel connected to the Radiumhospitalet Hospital in Oslo, Mari Nygård and her team welcomed us at the Cancer Registry. We got the pleasure to meet representatives, not only from the Cancer Registry (Elisabete Weiderpass, Bjørn Møller, Solveig Hofvind, Birgit Engesæter, Paula Berstad, Jan F. Nygård, Mari Nygård & Margrethe Meo), but also from the Norwegian Directorate of Health (Bente Bryhn), the Norwegian Cancer Society (Jon Kirknes, Ole Alexander Opdalshei) and the The Oslo University Hospital (Sigbjørn Smeland). A mixture of well-prepared presentations and spontaneous discussions resulted in a very interactive and informative day. We learned from the Norwegian experience regarding the patient pathway and registration of cancer care, but also on how such a large country to controls the geographical inequality in their provision of cancer care.
A funny but chaotic taxi drive brought us from the airport to the National Institute of Public Health. Croatia has a specific geographical structure which is unique in the EU context. Nevertheless, we got to learn how Croatia is very motivated to contribute to and learn from EU projects, such as IPAAC JA. During the interview, we learned from field experts about their personal experience on challenges of cancer control care in Croatia.
As we try to decrease our carbon footprint as much as possible, we combined the visit to Croatia with the interview in Slovenia. A night train brought us from Zagreb to Ljubljana, where we met the Dr. Branko the next day. The coordinator of the National Cancer Control Plan and full-time oncologist made some time for us. We discussed not only the implementation of the Slovenian NCCP, but also the remaining challenges and how an EU approach can help to solve these problems.
We were welcomed with breakfast and coffee by Marie Maul and her team (Nina Krogh Larsen; V.Kristoffer Lande (screening), Gry St-Martin (screening) + Marie (early detection); Bolette Søborg, Stine Ulendorf at the Danish Health Authority. Also in Copenhagen, our agenda was fully scheduled with interesting conversations. Throughout the whole patient pathway, from primary prevention and early detection, to the treatment process and to after care, we learned how patient involvement is central and how a digital approach is embraced. After a healthy lunch, we switched location to the Danish Regions were we had a fruitful discussion on the organization of specialized care with Cecilie Luul; Julie Bolvig Hansen, Tine Ohm Laursen and V. Ulrik Lassen. We learned how the definition of a comprehensive cancer control network is not static and that the Danish have rather innovative approach.
We had the opportunity to present the JA iPAAC at the local stakeholder forum in Malta. A broad range of stakeholders was present. At the end of the day, everyone looked forward to the interview sessions of WP4 the next day. Thanks to Dr Miriam Dalmas, we could visit the breast cancer screening unit but also had the chance to talk to professionals from the national cancer registry, cancer care pathways, surgery, pharmacy, pathology, diagnostic and therapeutic medical imaging, oncology, hematology and palliative care as well as Hospice Malta and the National Cancer Platform Association.
Luckily, the Belgian Ardennes were free from snow and we could safely ride 2 hours to Strässen. We were welcomed by Nikolaï and Anne at the main cancer hospital where a broad delegation of health professionals and stakeholders whom succeeded to each other’s and presented their experience and hopes. Although their NCP is brand new, we were impressed by the quality and efficacy of their home care system that still failed in some much EU MSs.
In February Edit & Elizabeth welcomed us at the National Institute of Oncology in Budapest. The interview was kicked off with a clear introduction to the Hungarian health care system and the current state of the national cancer control plan and the role of the National Institute of Oncology. It became clear that with the launch of the first NCCP in 1993, Hungary has a long tradition of cancer control and cancer registration. We learned how informing patients and increasing the health literacy is important not only in the national institute itself, but also in more remote areas of the country. Their primary prevention strategy definitely deserves to be commended.