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Doctors blame late detection as cancer deaths in Indonesia near 243,000

Jakarta Globe - February 18, 2024

Agnes Valentina Christa, Jakarta – Indonesia's Oncology Association revealed on Sunday that the country recorded 242,988 cancer-related deaths in 2022. Late detection and limited access to medical treatment were identified as primary contributing factors.

Furthermore, 408,661 Indonesian citizens have been diagnosed with cancer, the association's chairman, Cosphiadi Irawan, said during a seminar commemorating World Cancer Day in Jakarta.

"According to the 2022 report by the Global Burden Cancer, there are 19.9 million new cancer cases worldwide, resulting in 9.7 million deaths," Cosphiadi said.

Expressing hope for improved healthcare access, he urged the government to ensure equal distribution of cancer diagnostic capabilities and therapies across the nation.

"We need more equitable access to diagnostic equipment and medicines without discrimination," he said. "Additionally, medical schools must be established based on equal competence and standards."

Cosphiadi highlighted that while some Indonesian hospitals have advanced oncology centers, many cancer patients face barriers to accessing these facilities due to unequal distribution.

"We need a national strategy for cancer management that guarantees enhanced diagnostic capabilities and timely access to medical therapies to reduce mortality rates," he said.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, speaking at the same event, supported the idea of reforming the health system with a focus on strengthening early detection capacity for cancer patients.

Recognizing the challenges posed by late-stage diagnoses, Budi said early detection could significantly reduce medical costs and improve recovery chances.

"Cancer treatment can be much more cost-effective with early detection, and the chances of recovery are significantly better," Budi said.He urged hospitals, especially under the blanket health insurance scheme called BPJS, to refrain from imposing additional costs on cancer patients.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/doctors-blame-late-detection-as-cancer-deaths-in-indonesia-near-24300