Primary care and cancer care: a new partnership commitment by E.C.O. and WONCA Europe

The ambitions of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan require the full participation of primary care to be effective. It is with this strong and shared understanding that the European Cancer Organisation (E.C.O.) and the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA Europe) announce a new partnership agreement for joint working.

From implementing more effective cancer prevention strategies, to achieving earlier detection of cancer. From ensuring an enhanced environment for follow-up and survivorship care to cancer patients, to better management of co-morbidities. The achievement of Europe’s vision of quality cancer care requires Family Doctors (FDs/GPs) and community physicians to be a central part of implementation conversation.

The new collaboration agreement between E.C.O. and WONCA Europe builds on the joint work between the organisations in 2019 in completing the landmark ‘Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer: Primary Care’. The agreement is a logical further commitment to build on this solid foundation, and to work together in taking forward advocacy actions during 2021 related to Quality Cancer Care, cancer prevention, early detection of cancer and the cancer co-morbidities challenge.

Speaking about the new collaboration agreement, Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation, said:

“We are delighted to have WONCA Europe closer to our family of cooperating professional, patient and other societies. Our shared mission of improving outcomes and the quality of patient care, through multidisciplinarity and multiprofessionalism, brings us together with a unity of purpose. We have long desired GPs to be more integrated into our activities. This new collaboration agreement marks an important new step in bringing primary and secondary care together in the cancer policy environment.”

Shlomo Vinker and Mehmet Ungan, both the current and past Presidents of WONCA Europe, said:

“E.C.O and WONCA Europe have been working to improve the quality of life of people through fostering high standards of care for many years and firmly grounded in their care levels with their roots like two huge trees. This agreement is a very fresh fruit of those two respected scientific professional organisations based on such an active collaboration since 2018.  FDs/GPs make a difference even in this pandemic and are increasingly recognised as expert generalists, with key roles in coordinating care with the patient as the focus. As a primary health care team, including all primary health care professionals in such an integration we try to define the essential requirements and professional borders. Together with our PC partners E.C.O. and WONCA Europe defined the essential requirements for primary care interventions throughout the cancer care pathway in an article published in the Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology (article) We believe this agreement is a good model and may lead to a perfect integration into PC guiding other NCDs.”