Dr Clive Peedell, Consultant Oncologist and leader of the National Health Action Party said:
"We very much welcome the publication of the Cancer Taskforce's Cancer strategy.
The focus on public health and prevention of cancer is particularly welcome, as is the focus on the need to invest in earlier detection of cancer and diagnostics. We are also pleased to see that updating and replacing radiotherapy equipment is a key pillar of the plan.
However, whilst the plan is precisely what the NHS needs to improve outcomes for cancer care, the Government's austerity agenda, chronic underfunding of the NHS, and market driven approach to healthcare, is likely to scupper the whole thing. The Government has cut the public health budget by £200m, which totally undermines the focus on cancer prevention. In addition, rising wealth inequality associated with austerity is strongly linked to ill health, poorer public health and poorer cancer outcomes. The strategy will clearly require a big increase in multidisciplinary staffing and equipment, but with a £22bn funding gap, this simply won't happen.
Ultimately, the solution to the cancer problem lies in politics and economics. This excellent strategy will simply remain a good idea on paper without the appropriate backing from the health minister and the Treasury"