Public And Private Healthcare Must Pool Resources To Beat Cancer

February 12, 1999

(National cancer centre is good idea) BMJ Volume 318 13 March 1999 pp736-7

The public and private health sectors should pool their resources to establish a UK Cancer Centre writes Professor Karol Sikora in this week's BMJ. The author, who heads up the WHO Cancer Programme, suggests that by setting up such a centre in London, such an initiative could pull together the efforts of the Institute of Cancer Research, the Royal Marsden Hospital, Imperial College, the Hammersmith Hospitals, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the international expertise practiced in many private hospitals in west London.

Sikora argues that "what is needed..... is political will and capital investment from both the public and private sectors... to create a single site...which could co-ordinate the new structure of cancer centres and units that is gradually building up throughout the UK." He also suggests that "as well as developing the treatments of the future such a centre would monitor the availability of care throughout the United Kingdom and ensure equity of access (and) act as a gold standard for cancer care and form part of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.." The author adds that such a site would be attractive to the pharmaceutical industry, which spends an estimated £150 million a year on cancer research in Britain.

Contact:

Professor Karol Sikora, Chief, WHO Cancer Programme, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyons, France sikora@iarc.fr sikora@iarc.fr
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BMJ

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