Paraguay is advancing in the treatment of a bill that guarantees access and care for cancer patients, which was analyzed today in a public hearing in the Congress in which patients and health authorities participated.
The legislative text, agreed by the legislators and some public and private institutions, contemplates establishing the care of people with cancer as a "human rights issue" and proposes the creation of a Solidarity Fund for the Care of People with Cancer.
This will have resources of 34 million dollars (200,000 million guaranies) from the General Budget of the Nation (PGN), as well as taxes and other funds.
The bill proposes, among others, an approximate contribution of some 9.4 million dollars (55,000 million guaranies) from 50% of the collections for the selective tax on tobacco consumption, and a similar percentage in the case of the selective tax on the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The latter would amount to just over 5 million dollars (30,000 million guaranies).
The fund will be administered by the National Cancer Institute (Incan) and its resources, which may not suffer cuts, may only be used for the provisions of the law.
Also, the approval of this bill would give new functions to Incan, so that it establishes diagnostic protocols, treatments and deadlines.
During the hearing, Senator Pedro Santacruz, of the Democratic Progressive Party and draftsman of the document, stressed that the State must have "obligations and priorities" with cancer patients.
"This law is just trying to establish these guarantees for the State to allocate the necessary resources, in order to comply with all, with the creation of a registry of people with cancer, the follow-up protocol and a solidarity fund for comprehensive care", noted in his speech.
The Minister of Public Health and Social Welfare, Julio Mazzoleni, who also participated in the event, recalled that "it is essential to continue looking for funding sources, so that this can be a sustainable model over time."
On the financing also was pronounced the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, who attended the audience.
The president pointed out that his Executive is "absolutely committed" to public health, for which he intends to "seek resources" and "improve the quality of spending."
In addition, he added that the current PGN is inherited from the previous Government and that it will not be until next year when his team can develop their own budgets.