Cyprus Mail

Disy slams government for dropping National Cancer Institute plan

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Disy on Thursday slammed the government’s decision not to include provisions for the creation of a National Cancer Institute in the forthcoming budget for the health ministry.

“The freezing of such a project saddens us unimaginably and is unacceptable. It will result in delaying the preparation of necessary protocols, and will have adverse effects on patients,” the party said.

“At a time when cancer is a scourge which is plaguing more and more of our citizens, the government is freezing the largest and most important project to deal with it,” they added.

They said that since the end of 2021, when cabinet approved the appointment of Dr Pavlos Drakou as the National Cancer Institute’s president and paved the way for the project to be implemented, both the medical world and patients had been waiting for it to open.

“The aim of creating an independent institute was to provide high-quality services, as well as the best assistance from early prevention to treatment and palliative care,” they said.

They concluded by saying, “defending the rights of patients must be a primary concern and not an option for cuts.”

Disy’s comments come a day after the Cyprus Oncology Society (Oek) had urged the government to include the institute in the budget.

The Cyprus patient associations’ federation (Osak)’s cancer committee had also called on the government to include the institute in its budget on Tuesday, saying “the need for the institute to be included in the budget is evident due to the continual rise in cancer rates in Cyprus.”

“Cancer currently stands as the second leading cause of death, and the perspectives offer little optimism,” they added.

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