16 NGOs, health dept, Socso come to­gether for can­cer pa­tients

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE -

KUCH­ING: Six­teen can­cer­re­lated or­gan­i­sa­tions came to­gether with the Sarawak Health Depart­ment and So­cial Se­cu­rity Or­gan­i­sa­tion ( Socso) to share, dis­cuss and re­view the Na­tional Strate­gic Plan for Can­cer Con­trol Pro­gramme ( NCCP) 2016 to 2020.

Ac­cord­ing to a press state­ment, Sarawak Pa­tients Or­gan­i­sa­tions Knowl­edge Ex­change ( SPOKE) 2019 was held at Chem­sain Build­ing, Jalan Rock here yes­ter­day with the ob­jec­tive of bring­ing up is­sues that can­cer pa­tients in Sarawak faced.

In­va­lid­ity Pen­sion Scheme was also a topic for dis­cus­sion as there had been calls for can­cer pa­tients to be el­i­gi­ble.

Can­cer Re­search Malaysia ( CRM) gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on can­cer re­search in Malaysia and Ma­h­eswari Ja­ganathan showed CRM’s plan to in­tro­duce Can­cer Pa­tient Nav­i­ga­tion to Sarawak as it has been shown to re­duce bar­rier to can­cer care, im­prove ad­her­ence and re­duce treat­ment de­fault­ers.

Dr Arnil Si­r­i­manne, rep­re­sent­ing Sarawak Health Di­rec­tor Dr Jami­lah Hashim, gave a talk on the progress of NCCP in Sarawak.

He said that some of the is­sues faced by Sarawakians in­clude dis­tance and travel cost to seek treat­ment, fi­nan­cial cost of can­cer es­pe­cially loss of in­come, ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness of pa­tients, and de­fault­ing on treat­ment.

Phillip Sangkan, Sarawak Socso di­rec­tor gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on the schemes ap­pli­ca­ble to can­cer pa­tients. He elab­o­rated on in­va­lid­ity pen­sion scheme and high­lighted the re­turn- to-work pro­gramme un­der that scheme as well as clar­i­fied guide­lines for the schemes el­i­gi­bil­ity.

Among the other is­sues raised dur­ing the dis­cus­sion panel were how screen­ing of cer­vi­cal and prostate can­cer can be more ef­fec­tive and how coun­selling can as­sist pa­tients to re­duce de­fault rate.

Fol­low­ing a dis­cus­sion on the smok­ing ban, Prof Datin Paduka Dr Teo Soo-Hwang, CEO of CRM, said that while eater­ies might feel the pinch in the short term, stud­ies have shown that the in­come of the eater­ies would re­turn to nor­mal.

The par­tic­i­pants unan­i­mously agreed to the call on Sarawak gov­ern­ment to ex­pe­dite the smok­ing ban with a joint state­ment to be made ex­press­ing the NGOs view and fur­ther rec­om­men­da­tion to make the im­ple­men­ta­tion more suc­cess­ful in Sarawak.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 16 can­cer-re­lated or­gan­i­sa­tions, Sarawak Health Depart­ment and Sosco in a pho­to­call.

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