Health ministry studying ways to reduce cancer treatment costs in private sector

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.

PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry is studying ways to reduce the cost of cancer treatment in private hospitals, said its minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said these efforts involve the amendment of drug control procedures that affect treatment costs.

“This study is being done with the cooperation of the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry and other agencies to look at the prices and control of medicines in cancer treatment.

“However, in terms of treatment under the health ministry, there is no problem relating to costs because everything is controlled by the ministry.”

Dzulkefly said the ministry needed some time to carry out the study.

Speaking during a press conference after officiating the World Cancer Day Run programme at the National Cancer Institute here today, Dzulkefly urged all Malaysians, regardless of their age, to undergo early cancer screening at any government hospital or clinic.

He said the delay in detecting cancer early was among the main causes of the illness being difficult and expensive to treat.

Dzulkefly said the government was conducting various awareness campaigns to reduce the risk of cancer among Malaysians.

“It includes no-smoking campaigns, as well as creating greater awareness on the need to reduce intake of sugar and alcohol.

“Based on studies by the World Health Organization, nearly 30-50% of cancer cases can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle,” he said.