Side events

Exploring the effective use of law to achieve Universal Health Coverage

Exploring the effective use of law to achieve Universal Health Coverage
09:30 - 10:30 - Meeting Room 3

  • Session chair:
    Hayley Jones,
     Manager, Strategy and Operations, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer (Australia)
  • Improving existing laws to facilitate UHC
    Kenji Lopez Cuevas, Founder and Director of Cancer Warriors de Mexico (Mexico)
  • Overcoming legal barriers to UHC
    Emmanuel Luyirika, 
    Executive Director, African Palliative Care Association (Uganda)
  • Overcoming legal barriers to UHC Working with law for cancer control nationally and internationally
    Sanchia Aranda, Past President, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and CEO, Cancer Council Australia (Australia)


The effective use of law is critical to achieving universal health coverage, just as it is for all other aspects of cancer and noncommunicable disease prevention and control, as well as broader sustainable development goals. 

Law occupies a central place in health system design; implementation and governance; the delivery of health care across the life course; and disease prevention and control. Used well, it is among the most powerful enablers of good health practices, better health outcomes and reduced health inequities. Used poorly, it can have a range of negative impacts.

Using practical examples from a number of countries, the aim of this session is to build awareness of the policy decisions and considerations for universal health coverage and to build capacity in the effective use of law to progress universal health coverage and reduce the cancer burden globally.

This session is open to everyone interested in exploring how we can collectively work to ensure that law fulfils its promise. The session will demonstrate that law is not just a matter for lawyers. Engaging with law is essential for everyone working in cancer prevention and control.

Session organised by McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer and UICC, and supported by Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Council Victoria

Public Private Dialogue - Access to cancer medicines: A better way forward

Public Private Dialogue - Access to cancer medicines: A better way forward
09:30 - 12:00 - Grand Ballroom 3

  • Alexandra Nunez, Founder and President, Asociación Tour Rosa de Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
  • André Ilbawi, Cancer Control Officer, World Health Organization (WHO), (Switzerland)
  • David Danko,  Managing Director, Ideas & Solutions (I&S) (Hungary)
  • Gaelle Krikorian, Head of Policy, MSF Access Campaign (France)
  • Rosa Giuliani, Chair of the Global Policy Committee, European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), (Switzerland)
  • Greg Perry, Assistant Director, IFPMA, (Switzerland)

Panel followed by round table discussion


A recent analysis of national cancer control plans by UICC showed that delivery of cancer treatment services was not adequately addressed by countries, with a focus predominantly on NCD prevention and early diagnosis and screening of high burden cancers (cervical and breast). With the alarming increase in incidence of cancer cases globally, ignoring the lack of access to treatment for cancer is no longer an option. How can we ensure that cancer treatment reaches the people who need it?

Access to treatment and cancer includes access to cancer medicines and technologies. Barriers to access are created at multiple levels, from Research and Development (R&D) intellectual property rights, supply chain issues and pricing policy frameworks to weak health systems, inadequate infrastructure and lack of human resources.

Fortunately, discussions around these issues are gaining momentum and the topic of access to cancer care is becoming high on the global health agenda for policymakers, civil society and the industry.

Within this context, it is proposed to have a specific session at the WCLS to provide an inclusive multi stakeholder platform to share views, knowledge and data, and have a constructive discussion on how to move forward with the goal of providing better access to cancer treatment. The outcomes of this session will include identification of key barriers, practical steps that each stakeholder can take towards addressing these barriers and the creation of a platform which allows ongoing open, transparent and constructive discussions between stakeholders with the ultimate objective of improving access to treatment and care for cancer patients. 

Session supported by ASCP, ESMO, Children Cancer Center of Lebanon, MSD, Novartis and Pfizer Oncology

Regional approaches: Universal Health Coverage and Cancer

Regional approaches: Universal Health Coverage and Cancer

11:00 - 12:00 - Meeting Room 3

  • Facilitator
    Bjorn Albrecht – Head of Cancer Care Center McKinsey (United Kindgom)
  • Advancing UHC in Latin America: the Brazilian experience
    Ana Cristina Pinho Mendes Pereira, Board Member, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), (Brasil)
  • Universal Health Coverage and Cancer Control in Thailand 
    Suleeporn Sangrajrang, Health System Development, National Cancer Centre (Thailand)
  • Private Sectors as a Key Partners for UHC: Focus on Eastern Europe
    Linda Gibbs, Cluster lead, Central/Eastern Europe Oncology, Pfizer (United States)
  • UHC for better access to Palliative Care for Cancer Patients: African Initiative
    Emmanuel Luyirika, Executive Director, African Palliative Care Association (Uganda)
  • Achieving Equity in UHC Implementation: lessons from Canada
    Craig Earle, Vice-President, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (Canada)


In the context of the global momentum on universal health coverage, some countries have been at the forefront of the integration of cancer services into Universal Health Coverage, unveiling unique opportunities for fostering regional collaborations and networks to exchange knowledge, expertise and experience within and across regions. These regional initiatives can also be leveraged to achieve progress in integrating cancer services into UHC and directly develop activities with countries to advance health financing and universal access to quality care for all. 
This interactive session will seek to have high level representatives of the public and private sectors share specific regional perspectives and explore how collaborative initiatives within and across regions can be instrumental in advancing UHC for a better access to cancer services at the regional level. 

Creating global consensus on screening and early detection standards

Creating global consensus on screening and early detection standards

13:30 - 14:30 - Meeting Room 3

Panel Moderator:

  • Roger Elia, General Manager, CIS, Merck Biopharma (Russia)
  • Dilyara Kaidarova - Director of the Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology (Kazakhstan)
  • Heather Bryant - Chief Scientific Officer at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (Canada)
  • André Ilbawi, Cancer Control Officer, World Health Organization (WHO), (Switzerland)
  • Sally Cowal, Senior Vice President, Global Cancer Control, American Cancer Society (ACS), (United States)


As the WHO has noted, “Early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment”.  Recognizing the possible warning signs of cancer and taking immediate action leads to early diagnosis and a great chance for successful treatment.  And while this “truism” about the importance of screening and early diagnosis has been widely accepted for years, awareness levels remain low and healthcare systems often don’t require – or have the tools or resources – to support a screening program for various types of cancer.  Though more acute in lower resource settings or among vulnerable populations, this challenge remains across the globe, regardless of geography, income level, or gender.  Why aren’t we doing more?  As we aspire to achieve universal healthcare, how can early detection and diagnosis programs become more ingrained in local health systems so we can reduce avoidable deaths and healthcare costs.  This expert panel of government, provider, and industry representatives will discuss the critical importance of screening and early diagnosis and a call to action to advance multi-stakeholder engagement to support a set of baseline screening standards in health systems across the globe.

Session supported by Merck Group

UHC: A holistic approach to advance cancer control globally

UHC: A holistic approach to advance cancer control globally

13:30 - 14:30 - Grand Ballroom 3

Moderator: Jilly Carter, Former BBC journalist. Carter Communications Ltd (United Kingdom)

  • Armin Fidler, Senior Lecturer, Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), (Austria)
  • Ren Minghui, Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage/Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO), (Switzerland)
  • Michael Oberreiter, Head of Global Access, Roche (Switzerland)
  • Saunthari Somasundaram, Board Member, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), (Malaysia)
  • Carmen Auste, Managin Director, Cancer Warriors Foundation Inc (Philippines)


Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030 is one of the targets the nations of the world set in 2015, when they adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises, that efforts towards UHC will enable progress towards other health-related targets, and even towards all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as “good health allows children to learn and adults to earn, providing the basis for long-term economic development.”

UHC is also tightly linked to the target of prevention and control of non-communicable diseases such as cancers which require an integrated & cross-spectrum global response. Given the complexity of the challenge, a multi-stakeholder approach is critical to expand collaboration across and beyond the healthcare sector.

The UN High Level Meeting (UN HLM) on UHC in September will also have focus on NCDs especially, cancer. As we understand, UHC can be an important vehicle for enhancing population health and reducing inequalities by expanding access to standard of cancer care services. It also provides avenue for increasing national expertise and strengthening of health systems, such as raising disease awareness, accelerating diagnosis, improving healthcare capacity and expanding health financing.

Therefore, as a follow up to the UN HLM, the proposed Panel discussion at WCLS 2019 will help in achieving following objectives:


To bring cancer care at the forefront of achieving UHC: 

  • As a follow up to the UN High Level Meeting on UHC in September, elevate the issue of cancer as a health priority at the country and global levels
  • To go beyond the current approach for prevention and treatment of cancers and discuss within the context of UHC, a holistic approach, including early screening and diagnosis, capacity building of the health workforce, and sustainable financing
  • Discuss the roles that healthcare companies & private sector can play in supporting countries to address the burden of cancers.

Session supported by Roche

Big data, advanced analytics and personalised cancer care

Big data, advanced analytics and personalised cancer care

14:50 - 15:50 - Meeting Room 3

  • Context and setting the ground
    Alejandro Berlin, Clinician-Scientist, Radiation Oncologist , Clinical Lead of Data Science Program. Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Canada)
  • Pharmaceutical industry perspective
    Pakinam ElSaadani, Medical Scientific Liaison and Personalized Healthcare strategy, Roche (Egypt)
  • Government and policy perspective and views
    Marius Geanta, President, Centre for Innovation in Medicine (Romania)

Panel discussion

  • Moderator
    Danielle Rodin
    , Board Member, Union for International Cancer Control (Canada) + All speakers and Domink Hotz, Health Industries Leader for PwC in Europe (Switzerland)

Main objectives of this session are:

  1. Clearly define and raise understanding of what we mean by big data and analytics in cancer control and care. 
  2. Identify barriers and opportunities for using big data and advanced analytics in cancer care. 
Key discussions topics:
  1. What value does big data and advanced analytics bring to personalized cancer care and the health care systems?
  2. What are the main enablers and challenges we face regarding this topic? 
  3. How would this impact the different regions (both high and low- and middle-income countries)?
This session will hear from experts on the current status of big data and advanced analytics in the cancer control space, where it is currently applied as well as the barriers and opportunities the cancer community is facing. 
By successfully bringing Big Data and Advanced Analytics to life to advance cancer control and ultimately deliver better patient outcomes requires clearly understanding its use, risks and opportunities as well as having appropriate pre-conditions, and policy and regulatory frameworks. 
Having the infrastructure and the processes to collect the necessary data would be the first step for low- and middle-income countries to benefit from the growing opportunities to use AI and Big Data to deliver precision medicine while developing interoperable systems and having clear policies for data privacy might be a more urgent issues to address in a more advanced country settings. 

Session sponsored by Roche and Princess Margaret Cancer Center

Supporting priority setting and costing of cancer interventions as part of UHC

Supporting priority setting and costing of cancer interventions as part of UHC

14:50 - 15:50 - Meeting Room 3

  • Setting the stage: cancer in UHC agenda, government requests and WHO mandate
    André Ilbawi, Cancer Control Officer, World Health Organization (WHO) (Switzerland)
  • Supporting Evidence-Based Priority Setting to Achieve UHC: an introduction to novel WHO & IARC tool and experience with piloting
    Filip Meheus, Health Economist, Early Detection and Prevention Section, International Agency for Research Against Cancer (IARC) (France)
  • Where are we now? Current landscape and Guiding Principles of cancer planning, costing programmes & financing models
    Rachel Nugent, Vice President for Global Non-communicable Diseases, RTI International (United States)

Open discussion including all speakers


The cancer burden continues to increase globally as does the complexity and costs of cancer prevention and control programmes. Governments are tasked with formulating an effective response, shaped by the current reality that domestic budgets are strained by competing health demands and capacity to deliver cancer services is already insufficient.
The objective of session is to demonstrate the WHO Cancer prioritization and costing tool that was developed in response to WHA Cancer Resolution (70.12) which requests WHO to provide stepwise and resource stratified guidance to Member States on establishing and implementing comprehensive cancer prevention and control programmes. This tool provides an investment case for why cancer services can provide value for money and improve population health.
 The tool addresses the following challenges:
  • Lack of priority setting in cancer planning
  • Significant gaps in health system capacity
  • No budget or budget planning process for national cancer control
The costing tool has been developed by WHO in partnership with IARC, with input from experts from a range of academic and civil society organizations, including UICC. It supports evidence-based cancer planning and prioritizes programmes based on impact, cost and feasibility. The tool links to the health system infrastructure and requirements for the implementation of cancer interventions and programmes and supports budget planning.
During the session, guiding principles for cancer control planning and financing will be highlighted then the tool will be presented in detail. This will be followed by feedback and discussion among the participants then a real-time demonstration. Participants will be given the opportunity to interact with the tool through the prototype model(s).
Participants will discuss how organizations can become familiar with the tool and use it for advocacy purposes and work together with their MOH to select the cancer interventions to be included as part of the UHC package.

Session organised by UICC-WHO

Closing the age gap

Closing the age gap

16:00 - 17:00 - Meeting Room 3

  • Moderator:
    Cary Adams, CEO, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) (Switzerland)
  • Francesca Colombo, Head of the Health Division, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCDE), (France)


The rapid increase in older people worldwide and the expected increase in cancer incidence at older ages will have substantial impacts globally, posing considerable and unique challenges to healthcare systems worldwide.

This session on “Closing the age gap” will seek to raise awareness of the unmet needs and gaps in cancer control in the aging population and establish key challenges and solutions to the main barriers. 

Participants will be expected to actively participate in order to share their views and perspective on which topic prioritisation and brainstorm on ideas for progress, with a focus on medical/evidence, policy and public health, education and awareness, and patients and quality of life.  

Session supported by Sanofi

Making the national investment case for cervical cancer elimination

Making the national investment case for cervical cancer elimination

16:00 - 17:00 - Grand ballroom 3

Chaired by: Ambassador Sally Cowal, Board Member, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

  • Dr Julie Torode, Director Special Projects, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
  • Recap of cost-effective interventions in the NCD Global Action Plan. WHO tools for cervical cancer planning and costed-country plans emerging
    Andre Ilbawi, Cancer Control Officer, World Health Organization (WHO), (Switzerland)
  • Cervical cancer elimination as a framework for making the investment case – a focus on outcomes for impact on incidence and mortality
    Karen Canfell, Director of Cancer Research at Cancer Council NSW (Australia)
  • Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, Board member, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

Session organised by UICC


Cervical cancer is a cancer we can prevent and treat. Despite this, in terms of the global cancer burden, this cancer ranks 4th in women, every minute of every day a woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer and 9 or every 10 is a woman living in a low or middle income country. 

The global call to action to eliminate cervical cancer, has led to the development of a WHO 2020-2030 global strategy towards elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem. As we look to this strategy moving to adoption at the World Health Assembly in May 2020, this session will challenge us to consider how we can ensure equity of access to life saving prevention and control services and explore the role that UHC can play in accelerating national elimination. 

Building on the earlier session: Supporting priority setting and costing of cancer interventions as part of UHC, this session will review country case studies of working with WHO costing tools to shape national cervical cancer strategies in line with the elimination ambition. Discussions will then be framed around making the case for elimination with three key stakeholder groups: national governments; communities and international development donors.

CEO Programme: Leadership in post-normal times: Applying foresight for organisational learning

CEO Programme: Leadership in post-normal times: Applying foresight for organisational learning

08:30 – 12:30 - Grand Ballroom 2

No one can predict the future. And yet, the complexities underlying and surrounding life in today’s world point toward disruption, technological change, and a litany of critical uncertainties.

In order to thrive, rather than merely survive, in these “post-normal times” organisations must “use the future” and deploy tactical and strategic approaches to foster learning paradigms based on curiosity, experimentation, and anticipation.

As a widely used approach for building a forward-looking culture, ‘foresight’ provides a rich array of tools, methods, and approaches aimed at enhancing the capacity and capability of leadership to drive organisational transformation.

Organised around three key questions - what’s next? what if? and what now? - this session draws on case studies, research, and gaming aimed at instilling a ‘futures mindset’ in participants.

This programme is supported by MSD

Full agenda available here

Leadership strategies: Effectively communicating in culturally diverse settings

Leadership strategies: Effectively communicating in culturally diverse settings

13:30 - 17:30 - Grand Ballroom 2

  • E. Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM, ASCP Chief Executive Officer
  • Lotte Mulder, Ed.M., ASCP Senior Manager, Organizational Leadership and Patient Engagement, Director of ASCP Leadership Institute®


Understanding and leading transformational change can only be accomplished using effective communications that are tailored to specific cultures. Within today’s complex healthcare environment, both practitioners and patients are influenced by their culture, amplifying the need for cultural understanding and effective communications. 
National, organisational, leadership, and professional cultures impact effective leadership, communication, and behaviours. Leaders who pay attention to cultural differences improve the leadership pipeline and the overall quality of healthcare. 
This session will review proven data and describe the skills needed by leaders using emotional intelligence as a driver for navigating change within differing languages and cultural barriers. Additionally, the presenters will connect emotional intelligence and cultural awareness to increase leadership effectiveness. The session will end with roundtable discussions to help participants embed these concepts into their leadership practices. 

Session organised and delivered by American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)

Last update: 
Tuesday 29 October 2019