Following PAHO, Paraguay and Bolivia promote universal health access plans focused on the fight against cancer.
24 octubre 2018

Bolivia and Paraguay are making progress on regulations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDS) of universal health access, promoted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). On October 19th, Paraguay introduced the initiative in Congress that creates the National Cancer Control Program, which aims to finance universal access to quality treatment for cancer patients. The support of the Executive branch and a broad spectrum of parties in Congress promises a rapid legislative process for the Paraguayan initiative. On the other hand, Bolivia is moving forward with the design of the Seguro Único de Salud (Single Health Insurance). On October 17th, the Bolivian government confirmed that access to cancer treatment will be among the first benefits to be included when the program is launched in 2019. This comes on the eve of the ratification by both countries of their commitment to PAHO’s goal on October 25th and 26th at the World Conference on Primary Health Care to be held in Kazakhstan.

With support from Paraguayan President Abdo Benítez and groups from all the political spectrum, the Senate Health Committee introduced the bill that seeks to establish the National Program to Combat Cancer, whose objective will be to ensure access to quality treatment for all cancer patients in the country. It proposes the creation of a National Fund to Fight Cancer that will finance the treatments.  The initiative will be supported with additional taxes on tobacco. The bill is on the agenda of the plenary session next Thursday 25th, and its authors say that, as a result of their cross-sectoral support, the Senate will probably pass it.

For its part, Bolivia is in the final stages of designing the future Single Health Insurance, a tool with which the Executive will promote universal health access in the country. On October 17th, Health Minister Rodolfo Rocabado assured that the first phase will begin in 2019, and among the specialties covered, cancer treatments will be highlighted. Until then, President Morales assured that he would cover the treatments of all cancer patients in the country in private institutions, with public funds to ensure quality treatments.