Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Yet despite promises of increased investment in research from the Government, funding for brain tumour research still lags far behind research for other cancers such as breast, prostate and leukaemia.
We have made great progress in recent years to increase cancer survival rates, with 54% of those with leukaemia and over 85% of those with breast cancer surviving more than 5 years after their diagnosis but for those living with a brain tumour, this is as low as 12%. It’s time to act.
In 2018, in response to the campaigning of the late Dame Tessa Jowell, the UK Conservative Government committed £40m in funding for brain tumours. However, as of January 2023, just £15million of this had been awarded.
The importance of health research for brain tumours is clear. But the Government aren’t serious about science. Labour would target total R&D investment at 3% of GDP. This will help us to develop the treatments and innovations we need for the future. This will be part of our wider industrial strategy that will build the high wage, high growth and more productive economy we want to see.
We would also deliver the biggest expansion of the NHS workforce in history, doubling the number of medical school places, creating 10,000 more nursing and midwifery training places, recruiting 5,000 more health visitors, and doubling the number of district nurses. We will pay for this by scrapping the non-dom tax status, because we believe that people who come to live in the UK should pay their fair share of tax here.
We cannot afford any more delay. It’s time to act to raise care standards and increase brain tumour survival rates.