On World Cancer Day 2022, the Greek Ministry of Health announced the launch of a series of programs for cancer patients.
Among others, these measures include Home Care, modernizing cancer care with technology, and the National Cancer Registry, as Greece is one of the few European countries that does not have one.
Ioannis Kotsiopulos, secretary-general of the Ministry of Health, spoke about the details of the program in an interview with state news agency amna on Friday.
The Ministry of Health is planning a digital program related to cancer treatment. The creation of an “integrated digital care system for oncology hematology patients” is currently being prepared, said Kotsiopulos, in particular.
He added that within the framework of the Home Care program, activities are being carried out aimed at using technologies for home treatment, including for cancer patients.
The goal is to reduce the suffering of patients, both physical and mental, to save them from the need to go to the hospital and to provide treatment in absolute safety in their familiar home environment, whenever possible.
“Using the potential of technology, we hope to significantly improve the care of cancer patients by creating a digital network of services that will support the work of doctors of all specialties and will accompany the patient at all stages of the disease,” said Kotsiopulos.
The Integrated Cancer Care System is one of five digital health programs funded by the European Recovery Fund. The total cost of the program is 37.2 million euros.
The system is designed to cover all cancer treatment with digital procedures and includes:
Development of the National Cancer Archive (cancer register). Greece is one of the few countries in Europe that does not have a systematic registration of tumors, so the development of a National Cancer Registry is a top priority. The oncology information system, which will be installed in 10-12 selected hospitals, will provide a digital platform that will host hospital oncology boards to develop the optimal treatment for each patient by collaborating multidisciplinary teams of physicians. Chemotherapy planning and management system, which will include: planning based on treatment protocols, accurate and safe preparation of cytotoxic drugs in the hospital and control over their administration.
Patient support with electronic applications (apps) so that patients have access to key elements of their file at any time, can manage their treatment plan, report symptoms and side effects of treatment and support their treatment, easily communicate with their doctor, receive information about their illness and even share their fears and anxieties.
In addition, under the Home Care program, side events are planned, also funded by the European Recovery Fund, which aim to provide home care and cancer patients with technology in this case as well.
Due to the strict schedule of the Recovery Fund, the programs should be completed by the end of 2025, Kotsiopulos said, adding that the relevant law has not yet been passed.