CANCER ALLIANCE PUBLISHES ADVOCACY TOOLKIT AREA #7 – RE-ENGINEERING THE HEALTH SYSTEM

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The Cancer Alliance today publishes its Advocacy Toolkit for Area #7 – Re-engineering the Health System to Ensure Integrated Health Services.

IT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY URGENT THAT CANCER BE RECOGNISED AS A PRIORITY DISEASE THAT REQUIRES SPECIALISED SERVICES AND A DEDICATED BUDGET. IF WE DON’T ADDRESS SERIOUS SHORTCOMINGS IN THE CONTINUUM OF CARE, SOUTH AFRICANS WILL CONTINUE TO DIE UNNECESSARILY FROM CANCER.

THE FACTS

There is little equity of care for cancer patients in South Africa, the first obvious sign being the absence of treatment centres for each of the nine provinces. The map below shows the actual and recommended numbers of radiation oncology facilities (external beam radiotherapy machines) in the various provinces as at March 2017. This lack of proximate affordable, effective and quality cancer services, which enables early diagnosis, appropriate treatment and care, means patients in lower-resourced areas will often suffer and die unnecessarily. [1]

Actual and recommended number of radiation oncology facilities (2017)
Actual and recommended number of radiation oncology facilities (2017)

SO WHAT DO WE NEED?

  • Culturally sensitive, linguistically appropriate local awareness and education programmes to teach the value of prevention and early detection of cancer.
  • Access for adults and children to accurate screening and early detection of cancer at all primary healthcare facilities.
  • Timeous diagnosis at functional diagnostic centres, and efficient referral to further necessary care services.
  • Equitable, quality treatment, with the associated provision of equipment and trained human resources for effective, patient-centred care.
  • And more …

5 MAJOR CHALLENGES

CHALLENGE 1: WE REQUIRE A NATIONAL CANCER PLAN

CHALLENGE 2: PRIORITY AND APPROPRIATE BUDGET

CHALLENGE 3: MEDICINES AND TECHNOILOGY

CHALLENGE 4: APPROPRIATE CANCER CARE PATHWAYS

CHALLENGE 5: A RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO CANCER CARE

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