Video Speech by Commissioner Kyriakides to mark EONS Nursing Day.

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Delivering high-quality cancer care for patients across the EU remains a top priority for the European Commission and for me personally.

We cannot do that without you, our cancer nurses. You are the people closest to patients. You care for them every day. You are with them during their medical visits, checks, treatments and hospitalisations.

You are always there to cheer them up and listen to their worries.

You are in close contact with their families and friends.

As someone with cancer experience myself, I know the constant sacrifice and generosity that your work involves. The care you provide to your patients makes a remarkable impact on their lives.

I also know that the COVID-19 pandemic has been truly exhausting for you. You’ve been working day and night, for hours on end. You’ve often put the wellbeing of your patients before your own.

Your efforts have been nothing short of heroic, and we thank you for them.

Sadly, the pandemic has been such an extremely challenging and stressful period for healthcare professionals that many have left the profession, putting those of you who have stayed under even more pressure.

So it’s only right that you’re putting your own wellbeing under the spotlight today – and I’m delighted to be a part of that.

After all, to look after your patients, you first need to look after yourselves!

Your campaign is well-timed. It is well-targeted, too. It places emphasis on the importance of self-care and well-being for cancer nurses; on occupational health; and on retention and recruitment. All of these elements impact on the quality of patient care.

The European Commission takes your work and your wellbeing very seriously. We want to support you. That’s why Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan includes a number of actions for oncology nursing professionals.

Building a stronger multidisciplinary cancer workforce is one of them. High-quality cancer care depends on a high-quality workforce. Patients deserve the best care possible; health professionals need support to keep updating their skills throughout their careers.

The inter-speciality cancer training programme we launched last year will help health professionals get training and continuous education.

Other actions cover key issues like the quality and safety of radiation technology in diagnosing and treating cancer, and support for Member States to establish comprehensive cancer centres and networks.

Friends,

Your profession and your wellbeing as individuals are at the very heart of our drive to turn the Beating Cancer Plan’s ambitious actions into ambitious achievements.

“Not all angels have wings; some wear scrubs.”

You’ve probably heard this many times before – and always with heartfelt gratitude.

Heartfelt gratitude that I fully share. You should all be very proud of your work with cancer patients across our Union.

A very happy European Cancer Nursing Day to you all.

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