Congress members from Paraguay and Chile have separately advanced laws aimed at tackling cancer. This is in line with commitments on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SGOs) and on reducing premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases by a third by 2030. In Paraguay, the Senate approved a bill on October 25th that will create a fund to improve access to treatment, prevention and early diagnosis of cancer. The regulations will be debated in the Chamber of Deputies in the coming weeks. In Chile, debate has flared anew over a national bill on cancer whose introduction was a campaign promise by the country’s President, Sebastián Piñera. On October 30th, Senator Carolina Goic of the independent Partido Demócrata Cristiano urged the President to fulfill his pledge and submit the bill to Congress, something which is expected to happen in the coming months.
The bill that was passed in Paraguay, unanimously backed by the Senate, will establish a National Cancer Control Program. A component of this will be a National Fund, a financing mechanism to help tackle the disease through better quality treatment, prevention and containment for all Paraguayans. The political momentum for the initiative means the Chamber of Deputies will likely discuss the bill soon, with a chance of it becoming law by December this year.
Lawmakers in Chile are eying a similar move. On October 30th, Senator Carolina Goic urged President Piñera to make true on his pre-election promise on the national cancer bill. Senator Goic has assured she would propel its discussion so that Chile “defines a national strategy against the disease”, an initial goal of which would be for increased numbers and access to specialist doctors as well as improvements in access to quality care and early detection. The Executive is expected to introduce the initiative to Congress in mid 2019.