First Cancer Registry Bill
The Ministry of Health and the Cancer Registry launched a 30-day public consultation on the draft Cancer Registry Bill at a press conference yesterday (Tuesday, 10 February 2015).
This proposed legislation mandates the reporting of cancers and brain tumours by medical providers, through the national cancer registry. Mandatory cancer reporting will ensure that health officials and policy makers have accurate and timely access to data for treatment, research, and educational purposes.
From 10 February through 11 March 2015, the public consultation, which will take place mainly through radio and television appearances, will seek to clearly explain the proposed legislation and its benefits, as well as to identify any concerns. Members of the public are being asked to review the draft legislation and submit their comments or concerns to the Ministry of Health.
In his remarks at the press conference, Premier and Minister of Health, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, said, “I urge Caymanians and residents to offer recommendations on ways to improve the draft law. It is Government’s goal to ensure that, wherever possible, all residents are empowered with the knowledge and motivation to reduce their risks of cancer”.
As a result of rising global cancer rates, the World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged all countries to adopt cancer registries. The Cayman Islands Cancer Registry was first established in 2010 by the Ministry of Health in partnership with the Health Services Authority and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
At the time, it was agreed that the registry was necessary to address a need for accurate data regarding cancer trends in the Cayman Islands. To date, cancer reporting remains voluntary, which makes it challenging to collect accurate information Ministry of Health Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn explained.
Recognising that privacy may be an issue for many patients and their families, the Premier emphasised that information maintained by the registry is confidential. Furthermore, through strict penalties the new legislation aims to ensure that this is always the case.
Mr McLaughlin also noted that the law calls for a Cancer Registry Board, which will include representatives from the HSA, and Cancer Society, in addition to a private sector medical representative and a member of the public from outside the sector, among others. This group of experts will oversee the operations of the Registry and make any recommendations to the Minister of Health regarding any activities of the Registry including any local trends or findings about cancer and brain tumours.
He thanked the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Health Services Authority for highlighting the importance of data in our fight against cancer, and for their efforts over the years to ensure access to regular screenings for residents.
Based on the last data analysis, the Cancer Registry confirms a total of 250 registered cases of various types of cancer here in the Cayman Islands with breast cancer being the most common followed by colon and ovarian cancer.
The registry is located on the 2nd Floor at the Health Services Authority. For more information about the Cancer Registry, members of the public can contact the Registrar at 244-2560.
For a copy of the Cancer Registry Bill, visit www.ministryofhealth.gov.ky. Comments can be submitted online using the comment form or sent to the Ministry of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information contact: Yvette Cacho