Annual Charles Cully Memorial Lecture & Medal Award

Health Inequalities in Ireland: Closing the Cancer Gap

The Charles Cully Lecture and Medal Award is an annual event held by the Irish Cancer Society. The lecture recognises and awards leadership in the field of cancer control, cancer prevention, or health policy and provides an opportunity to highlight best practice or innovation in those areas. The lecture takes its name from one of the most influential founding members of the Irish Cancer Society, who was instrumental in bringing the Daffodil Day concept to Ireland.

2015 Lecture

The Cancer Gap: Where you live decides how long you live

This is unfair and can be changed. In Scotland, since 2009, cancer mortality rates in the most deprived areas of the country have fallen. 

  • Keynote speaker: Sir Harry Burns, the former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. Sir Harry has made a significant contribution to addressing health inequalities and will speak about the lessons that Ireland can learn in tackling the Cancer Gap.
  • Dr Harry Comber from the NCRI, who will showcase new data on cancer inequities in Ireland
  • Dr Brian Osborne, a GP in Galway, who will outline how access to diagnostics is having an impact on GP services and on his patients. An ICGP survey published October 2013 showed that 20% of GPs do not have direct access to ultrasound for public patients.

The Irish Cancer Society is working towards a future without cancer. Closing the Cancer Gap caused by health inequalities is a key part of this and we are working closely with communities and advocating for innovative thinking to turn this situation around.

Keynote Speaker

Sir Harry BurnsOur keynote speaker, Sir Harry Burns is Professor of Global Health at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He graduated in medicine from Glasgow University in 1974 and trained in surgery in Glasgow while developing a research interest in the metabolic consequences of illness and injury.He was appointed Honorary Consultant Surgeon and Senior Lecturer in Surgery in the University Department of Surgery at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow in 1984. Working with patients in the east end of Glasgow gave him an insight into the complex inter-relationships between socio economic status and illness. He completed a Masters Degree in Public Health in 1990 and shortly afterwards was appointed Medical Director of The Royal Infirmary. In 1994, he became Director of Public Health for Greater Glasgow Health Board, a position he occupied until 2005. During his time with Greater Glasgow Health Board he continued research into the problems of social determinants of health but also worked on measurement of outcomes in a variety of clinical conditions, including cancer. In 1998, he took a part-time appointment with the Health Department in the Scottish Government and worked for 3 years as lead clinician in Scotland for cancer care. In the course of this work he developed Managed Cancer Networks and helped re-organise cancer services in Scotland. In 2005, he became Chief Medical Officer for Scotland where his responsibilities include aspects of public health policy and health protection.

Photos from the event


Date Last Reviewed: 
Thursday, November 26, 2015