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PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 08, 2012


Cancer patients in Mindanao face brighter future says PNoy

by Jean Duron-Abangan

TAGUM CITY, Jan. 08 (PIA) -- With the inauguration of the Nuclear and Radiotherapy Center known as the Mindanao Cancer Center, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III said cancer victims faces a brighter future.

Putting up the cancer center cost a total of P157,447,509. Of this amount P134,400,00 was used for the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment and P23,047,509 to building construction.

In his message read by Health Secretary Enrique Ona, the President said he knows of the suffering of cancer patients, and the burden on their families as he recalled his mother former President Corazon A quino who died of colon cancer.

“Kaya naman ang pagbubukas ng Mindanao Cancer Center ay siya ring pagtanglaw ng pag-asa sa mga Pilipinong biktima ng kanser,” he said.

(This is why the opening of the Mindanao Cancer Center provides hope to Filipino cancer victims.)

The President said that cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in the country and that about 200,000 Filipinos are suffering from it every year.

He bared the cancer center could accommodate daily 30 patients, who would be receiving a much affordable but quality services.

The facility lies in a 5,289 sq. meter-lot located at the back of the main building of Davao Regional Hospital (DRH) in Apokon, Tagum City.

The facility is equipped with linear accelerator, a device used for external radiotherapy and designed to destroy cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue.

It offers four types of radiotherapy particularly External Beam Radiotherapy (XRT), Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), 3-D Conformal Radiotherapy and Arc Therapy.

The cancer center is seen to substantially cut the total cost of cancer treatment by 50 percent as families with cancer patients would be able to save incidental expenses on plane fare, accommodation and food that they would be spending should they seek treatment either in Manila or in Cebu.

In a project briefer, the cancer center is said to aim for provision of “adequate, accessible, and affordable cancer care to all patients regardless of capacity to pay from early diagnosis to palliative care.”

On the other hand, President Aquino revealed that the national government this year is allocating almost P40 billion for the health sector.

He also announced the quadruple increase of budget for health insurance premiums from P3.5 billion to P12 billion to benefit 5.2 million families identified and screened through the National Household Targeting System .

Citing the success of Doctors to Barrio in 2011, President Aquino said he wanted to step up the implementation of such program by pouring on it more than P1 billion funding this year for the deployment of 200 doctors, 12,000 nurses and more than 1,000 midwives to regional health units, barangay health stations and government hospital nationwide.

Meanwhile, President Aquino had no doubts about the success on health services that the country can get through being honest and responsible especially among leaders.

“Kung walang tiwali, walang Pilipinong mag-aatubiling magpagamot dahil wala siyang pambayad sa ospital. Kung walang magkakamal sa kaban ng bayan, mawawala rin ang mga kakarag-karag na ospital na kulang-kulang ang gamot,” he said.

(If there is no corruption, no one will hesitate to seek medical attention for lack of funds. If no one will steal public funds, there will be no run-down hospitals.)

Looking at corruption as a cancer which is bringing down the nation, he said it needs no therapy experts.

“Simple lamang ang gamot dito: ang katapatan sa ating tungkulin, ang malasakit sa ating kapwa, at ang di-nagmamaliw nating hangarin na magpamana ng maayos, maunlad at malusog na bansa sa mga susunod na henerasyon ng mga Pilipino,” he said.

(The solution is simple: honesty in our work, compassion for others, and our determination to offer future generations of Filipinos a peaceful, progressive and healthy country.)

He thanked those who worked behind the success of establishing the cancer center in Mindanao particularly Secretary Ona, Davao del Norte 1st District Congressman Anthony del Rosario, Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo P. del Rosario, and Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy.

Aside from gracing the cancer center inauguration this afternoon, the President was also expected to attend the wedding ceremony of Congressman del Rosario to Karina Anne Chui at Lanikai Resort. (JDA/PIA-11)

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