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  • The Government, through the NHF, has instituted a breast cancer support programme with medication subsidy of $$4,800 per person, to be accessible at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
  • While hailing the programme, called Breast Cancer Receptor Studies Test, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the NHF is at the forefront of fighting non communicable diseases.
  • Dr. Ferguson said he is delighted that the agency has extended its individual benefits portfolio to include the subsidy of $4,800 for the Breast Cancer Receptor Studies Test for persons diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Government, through the National Health Fund (NHF), has instituted a breast cancer support programme with medication subsidy of $$4,800 per person, to be accessible at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

While hailing the programme, called Breast Cancer Receptor Studies Test, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the NHF is at the forefront of fighting non communicable diseases, and “we hope to provide increased services where we detect gaps.”

“The intervention has to do with the treatment of breast cancer, which is one of the most prevalent types of cancers among women in Jamaica, and treatment is very expensive,” the Minister said, while addressing the launch on Thursday, October 16, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in St. Andrew.

Dr. Ferguson said he is delighted that the agency has extended its individual benefits portfolio to include the subsidy of $4,800 for the Breast Cancer Receptor Studies Test for persons diagnosed with breast cancer. “This will assist in determining the appropriate treatment for the patient,” he added.

“The tests will be conducted by the UHWI Pathology Laboratory, which is the only local laboratory offering this test. Approximately 300 of these tests are done each year, of which 65 to 70 per cent are cases from the public sector. This is a monumental step for us, and will go a far way in saving lives, and improving the quality of life for those affected by cancer,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the NHF, Mr. Everton Anderson, said all the plans needed for the running of the programme are in place, and as they move to offer the benefit, doctors must play their part, so that breast cancer patients can access the subsidy.

“All the necessary processes are now in place for persons enrolled for breast cancer to access this benefit at the UHWI Pathology Laboratory. I encourage the surgeons who make the initial diagnosis of breast cancer to ensure that patients are immediately enrolled with the NHF, for this condition, so that these patients will be able to access this new benefit,” he told his audience.

Since the inception of the NHF in 2003, it has enrolled a total of 5,442 breast cancer patients, of which 307 are men, and has paid out $322 million in subsidy for breast cancer medication.

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