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Romualdez bats for creation of state-run cancer specialty hospital

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Incoming Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is pushing for the creation of a government-run cancer specialty hospital devoted to attending the needs and concerns of cancer patients, especially the poor.

Romualdez, president of the Lakas Christian-Muslim Democrats, said the proposed creation of a specialty cancer hospital for indigent citizens will be included in his legislative agenda this coming 18th Congress.

According to Romualdez, there is a need to build a government-run hospital for cancer patients to ensure a comprehensive high-quality cancer care services at more affordable prices.

“Kailangang government funded para hindi madehado ang mga mahihirap na cancer patients,” said Romualdez, one of the contenders for the House Speakership next month.

At present, the newly signed National Integrated Cancer Control Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 11225 allows the creation of cancer specialty hospitals and clinics by the private sector but having a state-run cancer specialty hospital would provide care for more difficult and problematic cases of cancer, according to the returning Leyte solon.

“Cancer rates are expected to increase with ageing of populations and changes in lifestyles associated with economic development,” he said.

Romualdez’s proposed creation of a Philippine National Cancer Center (PNCC) will 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) which were all built during the regime of his late uncle-in-law, former President Ferdinand Marcos.

“[It] intends to provide financial support towards the establishment and maintenance of a Cancer Center for the welfare and benefit of the Filipino people,” he said.

The incoming lawmaker explained that the purpose of the center is to operate a specialized hospital for state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, care, rehabilitation and/or relief of cancer patients, promote medical research relative to the prevention and treatment of the deadly disease, make information dissemination about cancer, among other things.