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National registry mooted to boost cancer prevention

About 37,000 people in Switzerland are diagnosed with cancer every year Keystone

Cabinet wants to set up a central registry to improve the prevention and treatment of cancer. The proposed law, subject to approval by parliament, is part of a nationwide anti-cancer programme.

The bill foresees a uniform system for the collection of cancer data by the existing 15 cantonal registries and the national childhood cancer database. That system will be nationally analysed every year to better understand the status of cancer in Switzerland.

According to the Federal Health Office, patient data would rendered anonymous before being included in the system.

In principle, doctors and hospitals must report cancer cases to the authorities but patients can ask to be exempt from inclusion in the registry.

The project will cost up to CHF1.6 million ($1.7 million). Currently, the government spends CHF1.4 million annually on cancer registration.

About 37,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Switzerland every year. More than 16,000 die of some form of the disease, according to officials.

Three years ago, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Health Organization called for better coordination between federal and cantonal authorities to improve the quality of healthcare in Switzerland.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR