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Santelices: "The lack of oncologists in the public system is almost 65%"

This week, the government announced the National Cancer Plan and a bill that supports this initiative. It plans to invest $ 25 billion annually to train 130 oncologists and build, improve and equip a network of 16 treatment centers to reverse the serious gap between both professionals and technology that the public system has.

Minister for Health, Emilio Santelices, in conversation with Third, refers to the diagnosis of the network and the challenge to fight the disease, which is expected in two years, will be the first cause of Chilean deaths.

For the health card, the numbers are worrying. "We estimate that the oncology deficit in the public system is almost 65%, it is estimated that chemotherapy is at least double the number of physicians and similar numbers for radiotherapy due to the new equipment being installed, especially in the regions." The gap study will be completed in April, when it will be determined exactly how many doctors and other professionals are needed. "

Due to the existing gaps in facilities, Santelices is striving to remove gaps over a decade and thus provide access to cancer treatment that is appropriately distributed in the regions.

"Many patients have to move to Santiago or to the 5th region, and this is one of the questions that has led President Piñer to move forward with the national plan against cancer, so when people face this painful illness they do not have to get away from their families. Today there are shelters for patients, but they are not sufficient ", he noted.

In order to compensate for this hygiene failure, the Ministry has been expanding its capacity with the certification bodies and, in parallel with universities, to establish them as post-graduate certification centers of other institutions. "So we will end up with an obstacle represented by expert validation, and because it is difficult to educate so many Chileans for what is needed, will be required to provide foreign experts with the conditions for their examination to be faster. But demand will not be less ", said Santelices.

The aim of the plan is to provide the country with a permanent structure approved by the law on equipment and skills needed for the care of patients in each region. This over the 10 years.

The main changes introduced by the plan include access, opportunities and quality of care.

"Therefore Through this plan, we are addressing gaps in this ten-year horizon by 80%, thereby gaining access to cancer treatment that is properly distributed in the regions ", concluded the Minister of Health.

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