Incoming Leyte representative Martin Romualdez proposed the creation of the Philippine National Cancer Center (PNCC) to help provide comprehensive high-quality care services for poor cancer patients, citing an initial P1 billion funding under the national budget for its creation.
“The creation of the specialty cancer hospital will be included in my legislative agenda as ‘malasakit’ (compassion) to all cancer patients,” said Romualdez, continuing in Filipino that it should be government-funded as to not put poor cancer patients at risk.
Such a government-run hospital for cancer patients, advises Romualdez, should be patterned after the Philippine Heart Center (PHC), the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI), the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).
“We have to complement the newly signed law on battling cancer by building the cancer specialty government hospital to take care of cancer patients. Remember that cancer is the third leading cause of death in the country,” said the Speaker of the House aspirant.
Romualdez said his proposal seeks to complement the newly-signed National Integrated Cancer Control Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 11225, which authorizes the private sector to establish cancer specialty hospitals and clinics in order to fight cancer cases and improve local cancer survivorship.
According to the Department of Health’s Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates, eight deaths were recorded daily due to childhood cancer, and 11 new cases and 7 deaths every hour for adult. Romualdez said that cancers rates will only increase because of aging and lifestyle changes caused by economic development.
Other than being a specialized hospital for state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, care, rehabilitation and/or relief of cancer patients, the solon added that the PNCC will also promote medical research relative to the cancer prevention and treatment, information dissemination, and more.
This story originally appeared on Manila Bulletin.