Global Key Messages
How to provide high-quality and equitable cancer prevention and control in an affordable manner is one of the most pressing questions countries face when planning for cancer control.
- Cancer stresses all of what we know about health care financing. Properly costed and phased cancer control plans address the issue of financing and can thereby support effective, affordable, and sustainable improvements in cancer prevention and control.
- A properly costed cancer plan includes a plan for financing, developing additional sources of revenue (domestic, development aid, philanthropic), and cost control mechanisms (bulk purchasing, etc).
- The “price of doing nothing” about cancer in terms of human suffering and economic losses due to premature morbidity and mortality should be included in calculations in cancer investments.
- Value should drive investments in cancer prevention and control. A country’s “investment plan” should be realistic, tied to outcomes, and ensure accountability.
- Setting priorities that are cost-effective as well as addressing structural, organizational and cultural issues is essential to sustainable plans.
In order to ensure financial protection of the most vulnerable members of society cancer plans should also address how individual treatments will be paid for, either through free at point of access and / or through insurance schemes.
- Higher spending does not necessarily mean better outcomes. Less expensive care does not necessarily equate to inferior care.
- Pay-for-performance models have demonstrated success at controlling costs while achieving quality outcomes. Fee-for-service models, on the other hand, frequently incentivize increasing costs without improving care.
- Systems with high out-of-pocket costs for patients reduce equity and play a role in patients not completing treatment, thereby severely reducing the efficacy of treatment and the return on investment.
- Effective quality assurance mechanisms and monitoring and evaluation of investments are essential.
Meeting the Challenge
Meeting the challenge of affordable cancer prevention and control requires strategic planning that takes into account: