This week, the government announced the National Cancer Plan and a bill that supports the initiative. It is planned to invest $ 25 billion annually to train 130 oncologists and build, upgrade, and equip a network of 16 treatment centers to reverse the severe technical and technology gap that the public system has.
The Minister of Health, Emilio Santelices, in an interview with The third, referred to the diagnosis of the network and the challenges to combat the disease, which is expected in two years will be the first cause of death for Chileans.
For the health care provider, the numbers are worrisome. "We estimate that the deficit of oncologists in the public system is close to 65%. It is estimated that for chemotherapy there are at least twice as many physicians and for radiotherapy a similar number considering the new equipment being installed, especially in the regions "A gaps study will be completed in April, which will determine exactly how many doctors and other professionals are needed."
Regarding the existing equipment gap, Santelices intends to resolve the hiatus within 10 years and thus generate access to the appropriately distributed cancer treatment in the regions.
"Many patients must move to Santiago or the Fifth Region, and this is one of the issues that led President Piñera to move forward with the National Cancer Plan, also the Law, so that when people are confronted with this painful disease, they do not have to move away from their families. Today there are shelters for patients, but they are insufficient ", he commented.
In order to compensate for this sanitary failure, the ministry is in talks with certifying bodies to expand its capabilities and, at the same time, with universities, to establish them as postgraduate certification centers of other institutions. "So let's end the bottleneck represented by the validation of experts, and how difficult it is to train so many Chileans to what is needed, they will be asked to provide the foreign experts with the conditions to be examined, to make it more expeditious. But demand will not be less ", said Santelices.
The plan aims to provide the country with a permanent framework, endorsed by a law, of equipment and skills needed to care for patients in each region. This, in a horizon of 10 years.
Among the main changes that the Plan will introduce is access, opportunity and quality of care.
"Consequently Through this plan, we will be solving the gap in this horizon of 10 years in 80% and thus generate an access to cancer treatment properly distributed in the regions ", concluded the Minister of Health.