Medicines (File Photo)
Public hospitals with cancer specialty services and some health experts have expressed their support to Department of Health (DOH) officials who are facing complaints for alleged mismanagement of funds for cancer patients.
In a statement, 20 public hospitals said that funds for the implementation of the Cancer and Supportive-Palliative Medicines Access Program (CSPMAP) have been allocated to them.
The hospitals said that they “attest that funds totaling to the amount of P809,408,700 have been allocated to our hospitals and that the said fund has been used efficiently and continues to be used for procurement of cancer medicines for our patients.”
“We appreciate the support of the Department of Health and the National Integrated Cancer Control Council (NICCC) to our respective hospitals,” they added.
The signatories were Jose Reyes Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Bicol Regional Hospital and Medical Center, Western Visayas Medical Center, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, and Region 1 Medical Center.
Other signatories include Zamboanga City Medical Center, Cagayan Valley Medical Center, Northern Mindanao Medical Center, D Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, Batangas Medical Center, Davao Regional Medical Center, Bicol Medical Center, and Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.
“Rest assured that our oncology teams and the rest of our hospitals staff shall continue to work hard and collaborate with the Department of Health in providing the best care and ensuring high quality delivery of healthcare services for our kababayans given the resources we have,” they said.
In a separate statement, non ex-officio members of NICCC assured the public that the funds for CSPMAP “is all accounted for.”
“The decision to sub-allot/ transfer the funds to the hospitals was discussed and agreed upon by the Council due to the exigency of providing medicines to patients and to prevent and address gaps in patient treatment,” the health experts said.
The signatories were Dr. Samuel D. Ang of the Surgical Oncology Society of the Philippines, Dr. Mae Concepcion J. Dolendo from the Philippine Society of Pediatric Oncology, Dr. Rachael Marie B. Rosario of the Philippine Society of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and Dr. Corazon A. Ngelangel of the Philippine Cancer Society.
Recently, complaints of grave misconduct, malversation and graft were filed in the Office of the Ombudsman against six DOH officials for their alleged mismanagement of funds for the CSPMAP.
They are DOH Undersecretary Beverly Ho, directors Razel Nikka Hao and Anthony Cu, former director Anna Melissa Guerrero, as well as doctors Kim Patrick Tejano and Jan Aura Laurelle Llevado.
Last Jan. 12, the DOH assured the public that it “acted in the best interest of the thousands of cancer patients reliant on the DOH’s cancer program, and we are confident that our integrities remain intact.”
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