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Gerardo de Hitta Cornelio
MS 12 - Sustainable Care System in Each Region (ID 534)
- Event: WCLC 2017
- Type: Mini Symposium
- Track: Regional Aspects/Health Policy/Public Health
- Presentations: 1
MS 12.04 - Sustainable Care System in Philippines (ID 7699)
11:00 - 12:30 | Presenting Author(s): Gerardo de Hitta Cornelio
The Philippines is an archipelago composed of more than 7000 islands and is considered one of the emerging economies in Asia. Hence, it is not a surprise that although there is a huge improvement seen in the country, providing sustainable healthcare, even though it is in the list of the government’s priorities, is still a major problem. Cancer, as reported by the Philippine’s Department of Health (DOH) is the third leading cause of mortality behind Infectious and Cardiovascular Diseases. The top malignancy cases reported by the DOH involve the Breast, Lung, Prostate, Cervical and Colorectal. Incidence rates are highest in more developed countries due to early detection of the disease therefore in areas like the Philippines, which lacks access to early diagnosis and treatment, mortality rates remain high. One reason surmised besides lack of financial back up is the geography of the country. With more than 7107 and rising islands, health care delivery is more challenging due to most towns, especially in the southern parts of the country, are difficult to go to or inaccessible by land, air and/or sea. However, in spite of lack thereof, the Department of Health – Philippine Cancer Control Program established in 1990, with Administrative Order 89-A, continue to work hard to bridge the gap. Its mission is to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality in the country operating in a systematic and organized approach utilizing primary and secondary prevention at the community level and tertiary prevention in the different regions of the country through hospitals and community levels. By means of the 6 pillars namely, Epidemiology & Research; Public Information & Health Education; Prevention & Early Detection; Treatment; Training; and Pain Relief (focusing on subprograms involving breast, lung and cervical cancer control, cancer pain relief), a healthcare system that is sustainable was hoped to be established. There are numerous projects formulated using the 6 pillars however due to lack of financial support, stricter implementations of guidelines and slow government approvals into law, mortality from cancer continues to rise. Nonetheless, the program as well as medical societies such as the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology, Philippine Cancer Society, Philippine Society of Oncology, Philippine College of Surgeons and so on, remain confident and continue to work towards the goal. Programs, such as the Philippine Medicines Policy of 2011 employed strategies that would provide free medicines in the hope to address priority diseases such as TB, HIV, Malaria and Cancer. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation in 2012 provided Benefit Packages in the aim of giving assistance to marginalized sectors of society afflicted with certain malignancies and promote patient empowerment to become active participants in healthcare decision-making by being informed and educated about their illness and adhering to treatment plans. Republic Act 10606 (The Universal Health Care Act of 2013), ensures that all Filipinos, especially the poorest of the poor, will receive health insurance coverage from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. The National Center for Disease Prevention and Control-Degenerative Disease Office (2014), developed clinical pathway guidelines for selected non-communicable diseases including cancer in the hope to manage these cases systematically in the country. All these policies and laws are meant to provide a sustainable healthcare in the Philippines but unless properly implemented, followed and financed, the realization of these dreams will remain elusive. There is nevertheless a glimmer of hope with the newly signed law last July 23, 2017, the Executive Order 26, known as the National Tobacco Ban which prohibits smoking in all public places and utility vehicles nationwide. If implemented properly, it would significantly decrease lung cancer incidence and mortality in the country.
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