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Where is the pilot report of the National Oncology Network? “There is probably no data to publish this report”

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The deadline passed a few weeks ago, and the results of the pilot of the National Oncology Network are missing. It lasted for years and was supposed to provide an answer to the question of how to effectively and efficiently organize the treatment of cancer patients so that they would not have to wait for months for diagnosis, tests and therapy.

On the Internet, there is a counter established by the Polish Oncology Federation, which counts down the days. More than three weeks have passed since the planned publication of the report on the pilot of the National Oncology Network. – Probably there is no data to publish this report in its final form. This partial information showed that the report did not include those things that should have been included after several years of piloting, says Professor Jacek Jassem, an oncologist.

The pilot started in 2019. In four voivodeships, the government created a mini-oncology network as a test. The pilot project was to precede the introduction of a major nationwide oncology reform. Patients in these provinces were to receive better support. Their treatment was to be piloted and coordinated. Conclusions from this pilot were to be used later to create the National Oncology Network. In practice, the National Oncology Network started a few months ago without verifying the pilot data. – To this day, I do not understand how it happened that the minister who resigned without the results of a pilot study, specific, numerical, caused this law to be passed – comments Professor Cezary Szczylik, head of the Department of Clinical Oncology and Chemotherapy , European Health Center in Otwock.

Anxiety of specialists

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– The Act on the National Oncology Network was introduced without the publication of data from the pilot – emphasizes Dorota Korycińska, president of the board of the Polish Oncology Federation. It was decided by Adam Niedzielski, who supervised the pilot. The previous minister, Łukasz Szumowski, is responsible for its preparation. – The indicators were set, and then it turned out that many of them are completely unrealistic, that there are too many of them, that very important ones are missing. Tried to get it on the run. But what hasn’t been done? No opening report was made – says Professor Jacek Jassem, an oncologist from the Medical University of Gdańsk.

The Ministry of Health spent tens of millions of zlotys on the pilot project. – We are concerned whether the National Oncology Network in the form that has been proposed will meet expectations. Will it actually improve the situation of oncology patients in Poland, or will it improve survival rates – explains Joanna Frątczak-Kazana, manager for assistance programs of the “Alivia” Foundation. These are indicators that are currently disastrous. Cancer is the leading cause of death in working-age Poles, according to the Central Statistical Office (GUS). According to the data of the OECD and the European Commission, mortality due to cancer is higher in Poland than on average in the European Union by as much as fifteen percent. In addition, cancer patients with a DILO card are waiting longer and longer for tests – these are data from the National Health Fund. The editors of “Fakty” TVN asked the Minister of Health when she was going to publish the pilot report. We’re still waiting for an answer.

Main photo source: TVN facts

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