Avail of cancer care services, programs — Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr

2023 November 24

1ST CANCER HOSPITAL. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa lead the inauguration of the Healthway Cancer Care Hospital at the Arca South Estate in Taguig City on Friday (Nov. 24, 2023). In his speech, Marcos urged the public to avail of cancer care services and programs in the country.

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday urged the public to take advantage of the services and programs for cancer care, prevention and treatment.

Marcos made the call, as he expressed elation over the inauguration of the country’s first cancer hospital, the Healthway Cancer Care Hospital (HCCH) at the Arca South Estate in Taguig City.

“The opening of the HCCH will go a long way in improving access to quality cancer care for many Filipinos. Moreover, this endeavor highlights our strong partnership with the private sector in strengthening our healthcare system, which is aligned with the Philippine Health Facility Development Plan and the Integrated Cancer Program,” he said during the launch of the hospital.

“All of this is geared towards our goal of universal healthcare. With the help of the HCCH, we can revolutionize the cancer care service industry in the Philippines through modern, state of the art equipment coupled with leading medical professionals and oncologists,” he added.

The hospital’s establishment is beneficial to cancer patients and those who need early detection and testing, he said, noting that early detection is vital in combating cancer, which remains as one of the most dreaded illnesses.

“So, I encourage the public to maximize these programs, services, and facilities for cancer care, prevention and treatment, as the government strives to bring healthcare closer to the people,” Marcos said.

“Early detection allows for patients the best chance in fighting this disease. We therefore encourage all Filipinos to get regular checkups, now that we have the facilities by going to community health centers.”

The HCCH is a premier healthcare institution that offers a wide and comprehensive range of cancer services from screening, diagnosis and treatment to post-cancer care.

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President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. looks at the linear accelerator machine during the inauguration of Healthway Cancer Care Hospital (HCCH), the first hospital dedicated to cancer patients, in Taguig City on Friday (Nov. 24, 2023). Also in photo are Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. chairperson Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, and AC Health President and CEO Paolo Borromeo and HCCH Radiation Oncologist Dr. Boy Vega

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The cancer care services include radiation oncology, surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care.

Apart from the HCCH, Marcos said the country has 25 specialty centers and cancer care in select hospitals run by the Department of Health nationwide.

He said the PhilHealth Konsulta Primary Care Team is also available to provide free diagnostic examinations and laboratory tests.

Marcos added that the government has also established the Cancer Assistance Fund, which will pay for the cost of cancer diagnostics and laboratories not covered by PhilHealth, considering the “great financial burdens to cancer treatments.”

More facilities

Cancer is now the third leading cause of death nationwide, with lung cancer ranking number one in mortality.

Marcos encouraged public and private stakeholders to support the Philippine Health Facility Development Plan and invest in building more health facilities similar to the HCCH.

This, as he reiterated his administration’s commitment to establish a “more accessible, efficient and responsive healthcare system”.

“Rest assured that the government remains committed to nurturing an environment that upholds the total wellbeing of our people, of course, with the continued support of our private partners and investors in healthcare,” Marcos said.

“So, let us work hand in hand as we take the challenges in public health and deliver quality medical services to our people all over the country. With all of us striving together in this pursuit, I am confident that we will succeed in bringing forth a stronger and healthier Philippines in the future,” he added. 

Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos (PNA)