In late January, the Chilean Senate passed the National Cancer Bill, which is now ready for study in the Chamber of Deputies. On February 10, the Minister-Secretary General of the Presidency, Felipe Ward, announced the bills that the executive will try to push through Congress in the short term, in the area of public health, highlighting the single health plan. Neighboring Bolivia is working along the same lines in the fight against cancer, as a bill to protect cancer patients in the workplace has recently been filed.
In Chile, the senators unanimously approved the bill to tackle cancer with 35 votes in favor. The bill seeks to establish a regulatory framework to underpin public policies, plans and programs aimed at preventing a rise in the number of cancer cases, foreseeing adequate treatment and recovery for those diagnosed with the disease. The idea is also to create a national cancer fund to develop scientific research in the field.
Regarding the legislative agenda of the executive, Minister Ward stated that they are working on the presentation of a single health plan, as well as improving the National Health Fund (Fonasa, for its acronym in Spanish) and developing series of measures to lower the price of medicines.
In Bolivia, the Ombudsman’s Office presented a bill to the Legislative Assembly to shore up the protection of cancer sufferers’ rights. The bill proposes that people with cancer should not be dismissed, removed or harassed in the workplace as a means of disconnecting them from their source of employment, whether in the public or private spheres. The bill will begin to be discussed in the coming weeks.