|Last year 78 per cent of 52,068 inpatients and 68 per cent of 65,806 outpatients used health insurance cards.— Photo sggp
HCM CITY (VNS) — Health insurance is helping reduce the financial burden on cancer patients since the incidence of the disease and treatment costs are increasing by the year, a top HCM City oncologist said.
There are 150,000 new cancer patients every year, half of whom die, according to Ha Noi Cancer Association.
At a workshop called ‘Cancer Insurance in Viet Nam - Bridge the Gap between Innovations and Access to Treatment' held yesterday, Pham Xuan Dung, deputy head of HCM City Oncology Hospital, said in HCM City alone 5,000-5,500 new cases are detected each year.
At his hospital, the 10 leading cancers are of the breast, cervix, thyroid, lungs, ovaries, liver, nasopharynx, stomach, skin, and colon-rectum, he said.
Modern technologies have been used in recent years to provide the best diagnosis and treatment choices to cancer patients, he said, admitting however that their costs have increased.
For instance, treating colorectal cancer costs VND150 million (US$7,100) in the early stages and double that for advanced cases, he said; the maximum cost of cancer treatment is around VND700 million ($33,333).
But thanks to health insurance, which covers 80 per cent of the cost, cancer patients benefit from advanced diagnosis and treatment methods as well as new drugs, he said.
Last year 78 per cent of 52,068 inpatients and 68 per cent of 65,806 outpatients used health insurance cards, he said.
Dr Vu Xuan Bang, deputy head of the Viet Nam Social Insurance Agency's health insurance policy division, said the total amount the agency paid for cancer patients last year was VND12.9 trillion ($614 million).
GLOBOCAN 2012 released by the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer showed there were an estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases globally in 2012 and 8.2 million fatalities. — VNS