16:07 20.10.2020

Health Ministry intends to build network of cancer screening centers for women

4 min read

KYIV. Oct 20 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Ministry of Health intends to create interdistrict breast and cervical cancer screening centers in Ukraine for women, Deputy Health Minister Iryna Mykychak said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

According to the deputy minister, a pilot project providing for the creation of the network of screening centers and the formation of a register of the female population to improve the situation with the detection of breast and cervical cancer has already been implemented in Lviv region. The ministry intends to extend this model to the entire territory of Ukraine.

The pilot project "Cancer Prevention and Modern Antitumor Technologies in the Treatment of Breast and Cervical Cancer" of the Ministry of Health, together with the Lviv Regional Administration with the support of the World Bank, was implemented in 2017-2019 in Lviv region. The World Bank loan for the project was $10 million. The program managed to create a model for detecting breast and cervical cancer in Ukraine, and in the coming years this model will be extended throughout the country. This is the training of medical personnel, the formation of a register of the female population, the creation of interdistrict screening centers," she said, adding that in Lviv region seven such centers and two expert centers were created in the regional cancer center and the regional diagnostic center, which made it possible to cover the entire female population with equal access.

Mykychak said that the ministry also intends to "expand the reimbursement program for appropriate therapy for women." "Currently in Ukraine there is quite limited access to instrumental diagnostics (mammography). With the need for 650 mammographs in Ukraine there are no more than 250 of them, of which only a few have been manufactured in recent years. At the same time, Ukraine has a powerful network of cancer institutions. In 2020 drugs in the amount of UAH 360 million for the treatment of women with breast cancer were purchased, which does not cover the entire need," the deputy minister said.

She also noted the need to develop diagnostics at the level of primary care and specialized outpatient care, and not in cancer centers.

In turn, Deputy Head of the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU) Oksana Movchan said that in April-August the NHSU financed mammography for 78,000 women under the medical guarantee program and allocated UAH 13 million for this.

"Treatment and prevention of cancer is one of the five priorities of the medical guarantee program, and it will remain so next year. The list of studies for which the NHSU pays an increased tariff includes mammography. In April-August 2020, more than 78,000 women underwent mammography for free under the medical guarantee program. The NHSU paid more than UAH 13 million for this. Another 20,500 patients with breast cancer received medical assistance under the medical guarantees program," she said.

"In 2020, under the medical guarantee program, funding for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer received 70% more than in 2019. Most of the cancer institutions contracted by the NHSU received more funding than under the subvention, in total for the amount of UAH 2 billion. For example, the Odesa Cancer Center received 450% more than in 2019, Kyiv Regional Cancer Center – 240% more, the Dnipro Regional Clinical Cancer Center – 230% more, the Kyiv City Cancer Center – 170% more, and the Kryvy Rih Cancer Center – 320% more," Movchan said.

The deputy head of the NHSU recalled that free care for patients with breast cancer includes: instrumental and laboratory diagnostics, surgical intervention in a hospital, inpatient and outpatient radio and chemotherapy, medicines from the National List, medical care, stay and food in the hospital, psychological support.

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