MP highlights earlier diagnosis is beneficial for patients and taxpayers
During Health Questions today in the House of Commons, John Baron MP raised the importance of earlier diagnosis of cancer. John has been the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer since 2009.
“What steps his Department is taking to model the potential cost savings to the NHS budget of earlier diagnosis of cancers?”
The Minister responded by saying that the Government recognised earlier diagnosis leads to cost savings.
John then asked,
“I welcome the Minister to his post. There is clear evidence showing that earlier diagnosis, in addition to leading to better survival rates and less aggressive treatments, offers substantial cost savings – colon cancer at stage I costs around £3,000, per patient per year, to treat compared to £12,000 at stage IV. Given the shortage of health economists in the NHS, will the Minister commit to commissioning a study to consider this in greater detail?”
The Minister then responded by saying that Public Health England and Macmillan Cancer Support have recently commissioned studies looking at, amongst other areas, cost savings from earlier diagnosis. The Government looks forward to the results of these studies.
John said afterwards,
“Earlier diagnosis is the best way of improving cancer survival rates, as catching the disease in its early stages gives the best chance of successful treatment. Late-stage treatment can be both aggressive and expensive, which is not good for patients nor the NHS budget and taxpayers. We will continue to monitor this issue closely.”