Financing Cancer Control Programs in European Countries: A Comparative Analysis
Purpose: This article aims to analyze the level of financing of cancer control programs in European Union countries. There is a rationale behind selecting this particular research topic. Firstly, cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Europe. Moreover, cancer concerns affected individuals and national healthcare systems, welfare systems, national budgets, and economic efficiency and growth. Design/Methodology/Approach: This article analyses literature on national cancer control programs in Europe. The source materials used in this article include websites of the European Commission and the national cancer control programs of selected countries (Belgium, the UK, Estonia, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway), as well as reports and studies compiled by research institutes, cancer societies, and peer-reviewed journals. This article analyses the level of direct cancer-related expenditure in European Union countries defined for this research as expenditures within the health care system. Graphical and tabular methods were used to present the estimated expenditures. Findings: The conducted comparative analysis of direct cancer-related expenditure showed a significant variation between countries, which is indicative of the necessity of creating national cancer control programs which have their budgets and correspond to the specificity of a given country, enabling not only their monitoring in terms of medical, epidemiological and economic effectiveness and efficiency. Practical implications: Although most European countries have cancer control programs, many of them lack or insufficiently address resource allocation, management, evaluation of the quality of outcomes, and financing, which are the critical elements for the efficiency of a health system and the effectiveness of each such program. Originality/Value: The issues presented in this article regarding the level of financing of cancer control programs and their components may constitute an argument in a discussion on the need to improve the quality of such programs.