As announced by President von der Leyen in her Political Guidelines and set out in the mission letter of Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, the Commission will present a European plan to combat cancer and support Member States to improve cancer control and care this year. A public consultation was open till 21 May, inviting European citizens to share where they think Europe should focus its efforts. In its contribution, Eurocarers raised the crucial role of informal carers, and their vulnerability. Carers are the primary source of support for cancer patients, providing help with household tasks, medical care and emotional support. Yet, this contribution often results in high levels of emotional, physical, social and financial burden for carers. Today,while some health professionals identify the key role played by informal carers when it comes to cancer’s treatment and patient’s well-being, cancer carers’ contribution is still not valued in our societies.
For Eurocarers, a successful Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan should achieve in all EU countries:
- An improved identification of cancer carers;
- The formal recognition of informal carers as equal partners in the healthcare systems;
- The provision of adequate support to all cancer carers helping them to provide care should they wish to;
- Measures aimed at preventing the detrimental impact of caring responsibilities on carers’ health and wellbeing;
- Measures helping cancer carers to combine work and caring responsibilities;
- An increased awareness in our societies of cancer carers’ contribution.
Additionally, Eurocarers participated in a joint contribution submitted by the Cancer Related Complications and Comorbidities Initiative lead by the European Cancer Patient Coalition. The initiative recommends, among other, that “both healthcare professionals (HCP) and informal carers can bridge knowledge gaps by being trained to identify and manage comorbid conditions”. Read the full set of recommendations here: Comorbidities Initiative Response to the European Cancer Plan Consultation.
More information on the public consultation on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan here.