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Policy Research

The Member States of the World Health Organization have committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030, as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The commitments under the SDGs offer an opportunity for countries to plan ahead for change and adaptation in light of major economic, demographic and epidemiologic challenges underway. Such challenges include population ageing. By 2050, 2.1 billion people will be older (60 years of age or more), representing 22% of the world’s population. Older people already outnumber children five years and younger; by 2030, they will exceed the number of children under the age of 10. And unlike just a few decades ago, it is not uncommon for people to live actively into their 80s and beyond. Achieving UHC requires a shift from focusing on disease-specific programs, towards investing in the foundations for a health system that can be resilient in responding to dynamic health needs. In recognition that the population of the future will be older, the implications for access, equity and financial protection for older people, and their quality of life, needs to be explicitly identified in each step of the process. The health system thus must shift from preventing disease and mortality to improving the quality of life, which incorporates mental health, social inclusion, and overall well-being’.

Source: World Health Organisation HQ/HIS/WKC

Global policy consultation for building capacity to address cancer in ageing and contextualised care initiatives

In the past, population ageing was mostly a concern of developed countries; today it is gaining real momentum in emerging powers as well. There is also a growing evidence of the convergence of cancer and ageing.  Policymakers have known about the forthcoming challenges of the ageing population with cancer.

Given the high prevalence of comorbidity in the elderly, it is an ethical necessity that new approaches be developed to study treatments appropriate for the bulk of the older population with cancer.  Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) provide the foundations to address the societal challenges related to cancer amongst the ageing populations. More needs to be achieved.

Between 2009 and 2010, SIOG launched a global consultation to identify ten global priorities for progress and development in geriatric oncology. Guided by the feedback from the SIOG National Representatives, a publication entitled The SIOG Priorities Initiative was produced in 2011. The report formulated the outcomes of the consultation and was structured to give an overview of the scope of the 10 priorities in Geriatric Oncology, as well as the potential translation of the priorities into tangible outputs for uptake by health institutions.

To research the new edition of the report, SIOG will conduct regional consultations with leading experts in the different professional roles that make up the healthcare sector: academics; clinicians; healthcare providers; payers; policymakers; medical suppliers; private sector, think tanks and representatives of patients. The data and recommendations will be used to define trends likely to impact the direction of healthcare in the next two decades for older patients with cancer.

As part of a wider global consultation for the next edition of the SIOG 10 Priorities Initiative, the SIOG Global Policy Meeting on November 14th 2019 in Geneva will bring together experts for a multi-stakeholder stocktaking on progress towards the achievement of UHC2030 with a primary focus on the health workforce development for the ageing population with cancer.

For further information, please contact SIOG Head Office.

SIOG 10 Priorities Initiative is a report of country recommended national mechanisms ensuring that the national potentials are harnessed effectively for promoting and advancing geriatric oncology. The SIOG 10 Priorities Initiative could ensure and monitor dialogue, promotion and advocacy, analysis, tools and methodologies, networking, South-South and North-South cooperation and technology sharing. It will, thus, foster the convergence of national, regional and global inputs to health research and care for the older patients with cancer. Reference: Letter from the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA)_2011


Take Action

Join SIOG in building stronger health systems for the growing ageing population with cancer. Become a contributor of the next edition of the SIOG Top Priorities Initiative.

Country/institutional participation carries two pronged objectives: 

1) Make national recommendations for increased trained health workforce and quality healthcare management at different levels of the health system, with due regard to the ageing population living with cancer, their diversities in culture, rights to health (affordable access and treatment), needs and expectations for whom these services are intended;

2) Make proposals for principles, and practice for the delivery and uptake of relevant health policies that are compatible with equitable and sustainable development with minimised economic burden of health with regard to the ageing population living with cancer affecting both developed and developing countries alike.

Send us your contributions by completing the form.