KUCHING: There is a pressing need for better policies in cancer treatment as well as ensuring the welfare of cancer patients, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
He noted that a survey had indicated that about 45 percent of Malaysian cancer patients suffer from ‘financial catastrophe’.
“This is where the medical cost exceeded 30 percent of household income within 12 months after they are diagnosed.
“This is a serious concern and must be looked at holistically for it to be properly addressed including the introduction of social security reforms, public insurance coverage, medication and treatment cost,” he said adding that he would advocate for better policies through Parliament.
Last Wednesday, Dr Yii received a visit from representatives of Society for Cancer Advocacy & Awareness Kuching (Scan) to brief him on their activities.
“This is particularly to raise awareness on cancer and also help patients who are going through the same experience. I contributed some of my allocations at the beginning of the year in support of their activities to take care of the welfare of the patients.
“This year they were supposed to organise an awareness campaign in support of cancer survivors, caregivers and medical professionals, but it was rescheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Even so, I still encourage and support the activities they do to raise awareness and to increase advocacy,” he said.
Dr Yii added that he had invited Scan to discuss further on health policy reforms and would allocate a segment of his debate in Parliament at the end of the year to talk about cancer and initiatives that could be done at the policy level.