MANILA — The Department of Budget and Management has released P500 million to the Department of Health for the 2023 Cancer Assistance Fund.
The fund covers outpatient and inpatient services, including but not limited to diagnostics, therapeutic procedures, medicines, treatment and management services, and other care-related components of cancer.
"Maraming, maraming salamat po," DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.
"Alam niyo po pinaglaban namin itong P500 million na Cancer Assistance Fund dahil ito po ay naibigay na sa atin in the previous years, pero nito pong 2023 na GAA (General Appropriations Act) pagkita namin natanggal po siya dun sa aming line items sa ating budget," she added.
In a statement Monday, Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said around 60 percent of the total public cancer expenditures comes from out-of-pocket payments and private insurance.
"Sadly, Filipino families, even those in the upper-income brackets, are vulnerable to catastrophic health spending due to high treatment costs and limited coverage of cancer care under public programs," she said.
The DOH has identified 8 cancer types which are eligible to be financed by CAF.
These are: breast cancer, childhood cancer, gynecologic cancer, liver cancer, adult blood cancers, head and neck cancers, lung cancer, and prostate, renal, and urinary bladder cancers.
The DBM released last year P529.2 million for the program, in which P230.8 million were utilized by the DOH.
The balance of P298.4 million may still be used until the end of 2023, the DBM said.
"Ito po ay isang malaking tulong para sa ating mga cancer patients," Vergeire said.
Courtesy of DOH