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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Solon to push for health insurance coverage for treatment of breast cancer patients
Writer: Jazmin S. Camero, Media Affairs and Public Relations Service
30 May 2016 08:27:40 AM

A re-elected lawmaker has vowed to re-file in the 17th Congress a measure that seeks to require health insurance companies to provide coverage in their plans for a minimum hospital stay for mastectomies and other specific treatment for breast cancer.

Rep. Alfredo D. Vargas III (5th District, Quezon City) said House Bill 6477, which he filed in the 16th Congress, emphasized the importance of early screening and early detection in preventing the physical, emotional and economic consequences of being afflicted by cancer.

Vargas said in the Philippines, which ranks first in breast cancer incidence in Asia, one out of every 13 women is expected to develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

“Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the country and is the primary cause of death among Filipino women. It is important to note, however, that breast cancer is preventable and curable,” Vargas said.

“Through this initiative, not only do we give breast cancer patients better chances of healing and survival but we are also sparing their families from dealing with the physical, emotional and financial burdens that cancer brings to the family,” Vargas added.

Under the measure, all health insurance companies shall include in the medical insurance plan a minimum hospital stay for mastectomies, lumpectomies, and lymph node dissection for the treatment of breast cancer.

The measure also requires all health insurance companies to ensure, at no additional costs, full coverage for a secondary consultation by specialists in the appropriate medical fields, including pathology, radiology, and oncology, whether such consultation is based on a positive or negative initial diagnosis.

Mastectomy is a medical operation that removes a woman’s breast while lumpectomy calls for the removal of lump from the breast.

Lymph node, on the other hand, means rounded mass of lymphatic issue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue.