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Parliamentary questions
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16 August 2017
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-004380/2017

The Commission has worked with Member States for many years on cancer screening. The Second Report on the implementation of the 2003 Council Recommendation on cancer screening(1) provides evidence that population based screening programs are highly effective in reducing the incidence of cervical cancer and the mortalities from breast and colorectal cancers.

The implementation of organised screening programs, based on European Guidelines(2) developed by the Commission and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, can reduce disparities between Member States when defined target population, screening interval, protocol of testing and follow up with comprehensive quality assurance at all levels are implemented.

In 2015, the Commission launched the European Breast Cancer Initiative(3) in order to update existing European Guidelines and quality assurance schemes for accreditation of breast cancer centres. Similarly, the European Colorectal Cancer Initiative will be launched in 2017. Both initiatives aim to assist Member States in implementing screening programmes and thus contribute to the reduction of disparities in treatment between Member States.

Member States have full competence in healthcare delivery. They decide, define and implement health sector investments. The Commission encourages health systems reforms at national level, in particular through the European Semester, towards more effective accessible and resilient health systems and provides information on the situation of health systems across the EU through the reports on the State of Health in the EU(4).

The Commission also works with Member States to enhance their capacities in the management of structural funds in health and to exchange best practices.


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