Saturday, August 24, 2019

Public-private alliances, better financing are key in anti-cancer fight

Lima, Jun 26 (EFE).- Cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as better financing to fight cancer are needed to improve the battle against the disease, one of the main causes of death worldwide, experts said in Lima on Wednesday.

At the EFE Peru Health Forum titled “Cancer: Challenges and Opportunities,” Jurgen Schosinsky, the general director of Roche Peru and one of the forum panelists, emphasized that fighting cancer requires “all actors” working together “because that’s the only way to make cancer disappear from this country and the world.”

At the forum, organized by Spain’s international news agency – Agencia EFE – and worldwide healthcare company Roche, Schosinsky said that one of the challenges is fostering communication among the private and public sectors and civil society, as well as building trust because no institution can wage the anti-cancer battle alone.

“That is the road to the search for solutions to the challenges of unequal, high-quality and more complex health services for cancer,” he said.

In addition, to arrive at better treatment, improving the financing for anti-cancer programs is needed.

In that regard, Ines Marache Echaiz, the head of research at the Contributors Association, emphasized that apart from being a financing problem there is also a management problem.

“In reality, we’ve found that the problem is that there are resources but the government does not use them properly,” she said.
Dr. Gustavo Sarria, the assistant director of the National Institute for Neoplastic Diseases (INEN), said that according to the World Health Organization, Peru’s health system has two main problems.

“One is the lack of resources, because financing is insufficient, and the other is that the resources are not properly distributed and managed,” he said.

In addition, when the budget is established, the flow of funding “is slow, late and often inappropriate.”

He said that management abilities “are not at the level that the system demands.”

In addition, the experts pointed to problems getting legislative approval of innovative treatments.
“Health authorities delay an average of three years more in approving medications compared to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States,” Marache said.

The importance of public-private alliances was also defended by Dr. Paul Pilco, the director of the Peruvian Cancer Foundation, who said that “the patient is not interested in who finances the care; what’s important is that they have good, high-quality and timely service.”

The specialists also said that “every dollar that is invested in treating (cancer) should be multiplied by three for preventing it, since that means an important savings in terms of health.”

And they emphasized that creating dialogue among the involved sectors is crucial.

Pascual Chiarella, the dean of Health Sciences at the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, where the event was held, said that the anti-cancer fight must be linked to private industry because it must be waged “with the whole system and only in that way will a high-quality healthcare system be achieved.”