The Philippine government will open at least 22 cancer hubs to help low income patients, the Department of Health (DoH) recently announced. This is part of the PHP 529 million (USD 9 million) Cancer Assistance Fund (CAF), a funding mechanism for poor patients mandated under Republic Act 11215 or the “National Integrated Cancer Care” law.
In a briefing, Health Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that cancer patients who want access to the fund for their medical needs can go directly to these cancer hubs. Vergeire said that eventually the government will expand the number of cancer hubs and more types of cancer will be covered. Currently, the fund covers eight types of cancers: breast, lung, prostate and urinary, liver and colorectal, adult blood, head-neck-thyroid, childhood, and gynecological.
Aside from the cancer hubs, the fund will also support patients in their diagnostics, and procurement of medicines that are not part of the free medicine program of the Department of Health under the Cancer and Supportive-Palliative Medicines Assistance Program (CSPMAP). It will also cover diagnostic tests for patients who are in remission.
(Source: The Manila Times)