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World Innovation Summit for Health to examine the future of affordable cancer care delivery

Professor Robert J S Thomas OAM appointed Chair of the Delivering Affordable Cancer Care Forum at the World Innovation Summit for Health

Doha, Qatar (17 September 2014): The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), has appointed Professor Robert J S Thomas OAM, Chief Cancer Advisor at the Department of Health, Victoria, Australia, to chair its Delivering Affordable Cancer Care Forum.

Professor Thomas will lead a team of international experts to prepare an evidence-based report that focuses on the key issues surrounding affordable cancer care provision, including:

  • Understanding cost issues along the pathway of clinical care
  • The design of innovative approaches for affordable delivery models for cancer care both in the developing world and in high resource countries
  • Innovations around pricing and incentive structures for drugs and high cost treatments
  • Assessing better use of technology advances to add value to current cancer care methods

The Forum will then present its findings and recommendations for discussion at the next WISH Summit taking place on 17 – 18 February 2015 in Doha, Qatar.

Professor Thomas said: “This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a team of internationally-renowned experts and produce recommendations that will help policy-makers design, deliver and maintain affordable cancer care services while improving patient experience. This is a multidisciplinary group, and it is my hope that we will be able to discover new evidence-based insights and perspectives on an urgent healthcare challenge which affects the lives of almost everyone.”

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: “The human, social and economic implications of cancer are immense. At a time when both the incidence and costs of treating cancer are increasing rapidly – especially in lower and middle income countries – it is undoubtedly one of the most important global health priorities.

I am therefore delighted that Professor Thomas, who is well renowned for work he has undertaken with policymakers in Australia to develop new approaches to cancer care, will lead this important work on behalf of WISH. The Forum will provide a framework to enable policy and decision makers to tackle some of the obstacles to sustainable treatment and care, and create tangible benefits for those affected by cancer around the world.”

With the appointment of Professor Thomas, WISH aims to improve understanding of the multitude of factors that are driving unsustainable and dramatic cost inflation with cancer care services. The aim of the Forum will be to make practical recommendations that might enable policy makers to minimize the economic challenges and ensure sustainable access for patients to high quality cancer care services.

Professor Thomas is Chief Cancer Advisor to the Victorian Government in Australia and Chair of the Victorian Cancer Agency with responsibility for the translational research and funding of cancer research in Victoria. He is also Chair of the National Cancer Expert Reference Group for the Australian Government, Research Director for Global Health Delivery, International Prevention Research Institute and Distinguished Fellow, Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne.

Delivering Affordable Cancer Care is one of seven research streams to be presented at the 2015 WISH Summit, where world leading experts will join 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, Dementia, Universal Health Coverage, Mental Health and Well-being in Children and Young People, and Patient Safety.

For more information about the Forum or the 2015 Summit, please visit

*** ENDS ***

Notes to Editors:

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

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 annual 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, Amir of Qatar, 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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