Beating cancer together
German Social Insurance calls on Commission to use the opportunities offered by digitalisation to combat cancer. Special attention should be paid to prevention in the world of work.
UM – 03/2020
The German Social
Insurance stands behind the European Union’s intention to combat cancer
holistically with a new action plan. A holistic approach is needed because illness
and recovery cannot be placed
on the shoulders of the social and healthcare systems alone. On 4 February 2020,
the European Commission launched a consultation on Europe’s
Beating Cancer Plan. The German Social Insurance participated in the consultation and issued comments.
Priority on healthy living conditions
cancer will be a major focus of the new cancer plan. The development of
a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system and protection against
environmental influences ties
in with the European Green Deal. The
German Social Insurance is of
the opinion that the focus should be on setting-based prevention measures that target the availability, price
and advertising of products that are harmful to health. The focus should not just be on changing people’s individual behaviour. It is also important to remember
that the probability of developing cancer also depends on social status.
Cancer depends on where you live
is a key European concern to improve access to treatment and therapy in Europe
so that all Europeans have equal health opportunities. Unfortunately, this is
far from being the case today. Access to social protection and to good quality
prevention and health services are principles of the European Pillar of Social
Rights and core elements for reducing health inequalities in and between Member
States. This is based on well-functioning and efficient health and social systems and evidence-based healthcare. The German Social Insurance believes
it is essential not to overburden the pricing and reimbursement systems of the
Member States with regard to suitable, evidence-based services. High prices are
a major reason for a lack of therapies, including cancer treatment.
Important to remember the work environment
It should be noted that the world of work has not been adequately addressed yet. More attention should
be paid to this area, given that people spend a large part of their time working. It should also be
borne in mind that work-related cancers, for example those resulting from asbestos
exposure, often only manifest
themselves after a long latency
Potential of digitalisation
The EU is
of the opinion that digitalisation can provide new opportunities. A European Health Data Space will be set up to promote
the exchange of relevant information and research on prevention strategies and
therapies. Cancer is also one of the five new EU research and innovation missions under the Horizon
Europe programme. The German Social
Insurance also sees great potential in this area.
New ed* on Beating Cancer Plan
The European Representation of the German Social Insurance in Brussels recently published its latest edition of the ed* newsletter as part of the policy discussion on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. It provides an insightful look into the
services offered to cancer patients and their relatives in Germany, as well as activities at
The latest edition of ed* can be read here.