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New report launched at WISH presents roadmap for delivering affordable cancer care

Doha, Qatar (18 February 2015): Leading cancer specialists from around the globe gathered on Wednesday at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), to debate the increasing burden of worldwide spending on cancer treatment and care.
At the Summit, a new report was launched ‘Delivering affordable cancer care: a value change to health systems’, which presented a compelling body of evidence to illustrate the true scale of the disease and the rising cost to the global economy.
Delegates heard how the burden of cancer is only set to intensify with new cancer diagnoses expected to increase by around 16–32 per cent over the next 10 years. The report also gave startling predictions on the rise in incidence of cancer from 2008 to 2030; by 65 per cent in high-income countries, 80 per cent in middle-income countries, and 100 per cent in the world’s poorest countries.
Policy makers were informed of the three root causes of excess spending, overtreatment and unnecessary interventions, technology without value and inefficient service delivery. To counter this, four clear policies were put forward. Informed patient engagement, better decision making, reduced costs with maintenance of standards of care and rewarding of outcomes. A roadmap to implement change was put to the Forum.
The report drew on a number of innovative projects from around the world to demonstrate how efficiencies could be driven and treatments improved for patients.
Professor Robert J S Thomas, ‘Delivering Affordable Cancer Care’ WISH Forum Chair said:
“Through our work we want to encourage governments, policy makers and healthcare organisations to address the problem of affordability in cancer care and treatment. This is a key and real issue for patients across the world. The status quo cannot be maintained when individual and total costs for cancer care are rising dramatically, and where we know we could deliver and drive better value. Today’s forum will provide practical solutions that can be put in place. These include optimal clinical pathways for patients, which can be costed and evaluated for wasteful interventions and provide benchmarks that can be used in a wide variety of settings to improve value for patients and providers”.
Professor The Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH and Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College of London, said: “Cancer has a huge impact on millions of lives globally and with populations ageing the disease’s prominence is only going to intensify. The only way to help patients get the treatment they need is to ensure that money across the world is spent effectively. This report offers a sensible and clear roadmap to help policymakers and healthcare professionals address the challenges we face today in trying to deliver affordable cancer care for future generations.”
Participating in the WISH Delivering Affordable Cancer Care panel discussion, Her Royal Highness Princess Ghida Talal, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF), said: “Affordability and accessibility have long been the core focus of our cancer care model at the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center and I look forward to sharing our experience in developing the model and discussing suggestions for further development as discussed in the report.”
Affordable cancer care: the report’s roadmap for action:
1. Facilitating patient involvement in clinical decision-making
2. Developing consistent and uniform transit for cancer patients through cost-informed clinical pathways
3. Eliminating of waste in cancer care service systems
4. Developing new costing models for drugs based on a ‘pay for results’ principle
5. Introducing accountable care reward systems
6. Address potentially disruptive technologies associated with genomic medicine
Delivering Affordable Cancer Care is one of eight reports being presented at the 2015 WISH Summit taking place in Qatar, where leading international health experts are joining an influential community of heads of state, government ministers, academics, clinicians, policy makers and business leaders to discuss innovative solutions to some of the most pressing global health challenges.
As well as Delivering Affordable Cancer Care, WISH will publish reports on Communicating Complex Health Messages, Diabetes, Universal Health Coverage, Dementia, Patient Safety, Mental Health and Wellbeing in Children, and Maternal and Newborn Health.
WISH is spearheaded by Qatar Foundation to inspire and diffuse healthcare innovation and best practice. It remains closely aligned to the vision and mission of QF to unlock human potential and reinforces Qatar’s pioneering role as an emerging centre for healthcare innovation.
To download the reports and watch the research discussions taking place at WISH, please visit


Notes to Editors:
For more information please contact:
Noha El Afify
WISH Communications Manager
+974 7768 6624

Delivering affordable cancer care: a value challenge to health systems

In many countries, cancer treatment and testing is one of the highest areas of health spending and, for many people, a diagnosis of cancer leads to personal bankruptcy. Different challenges related to affordability and sustainability of cancer care continue to emerge in both low- and high-income countries.
The Forum’s report focuses on addressing the root causes of excess spending in cancer care through policies that promote value in cancer care delivery. This is not simply about cost-reduction measures, but considering proven reforms and emerging innovations; also making sure clinicians are fully engaged. The report aims to offer policymakers practical recommendations to help them restrain costs over time while ensuring sustainable access to cancer care.

The report identifies three root causes of excess spending and future spending growth, which form the cancer value challenge to health systems worldwide. Tackling these issues will help to bring cancer costs under control without sacrificing outcomes or patient experience. The Forum’s vision for affordability is based on four priority areas for action that provide a framework for policymakers to bring about value-based care.

The three root causes of excess spending
Over-treatment and unnecessary interventions, especially at end of life
Disconnect between value and technology adoption
Inefficient cancer service delivery
Priority areas for action – a vision for affordability
Ensuring patient engagement in personalized care
Informing decision-making in the clinical setting
Reducing delivery costs while upholding standards of care
Rewarding patient-centered outcomes and clinician responsibility

Professor Robert J S Thomas OAM
Chief Cancer Advisor, Victorian Government, Australia

Professor Robert J S Thomas, OAM is the Chief Cancer Advisor to the Victorian Government which has responsibility for the translational research agenda and funding for cancer research in Victoria. Professor Thomas is passionate about cancer reform, working to provide all Victorians with the benefits of multidisciplinary care, appropriate psychosocial support for cancer patients and carers and access to the best translational research.

Professor Thomas holds positions on many government cancer-related committees and brings a wealth of experience as both a cancer surgeon and researcher. Previously, he held the position of Chief Cancer Advisor to the Department of Health and Distinguished Fellow, Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

He has been heavily involved in the development of cancer reforms within Australia, serving as President of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, Chair of the National Committee creating the Colorectal Cancer Guidelines, and a member of the Ministerial Taskforce on Cancer.

Professor Thomas has published over 100 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters. He has been honored by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons with the Excellence in Surgery Award.

About the World Innovation Summit for Health:
The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) is a global healthcare community dedicated to capturing and disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices. WISH is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and is under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, its Chairperson.
The inaugural WISH Summit took place in Doha in 2013 and convened more than 1,000 global healthcare leaders. Through international summits and a range of ongoing initiatives, WISH is creating a global community of leading innovators in healthcare policy, research and industry.
Together, they are harnessing the power of innovation to overcome the world’s most urgent healthcare challenges and inspire other stakeholders to action.

Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, non-profit organisation that is supporting Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to knowledge economy by unlocking human potential for the benefit of not only Qatar, but the world. Founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, The Father Emir, QF is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
QF carries out its mission through three strategic pillars: education, science and research, and community development. QF’s education pillar brings world-class universities to Qatar to help create an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy. Meanwhile, its science and research pillar builds Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercialising solutions through key sciences. Finally, its community development pillar helps foster a progressive society while also enhancing cultural life, protecting Qatar’s heritage and addressing immediate social needs in the community.
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit
For more information about Qatar Foundation please contact our press office at:

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