Doctors in PNG worried about state of cancer treatment facilities

2:34 pm on 16 May 2016

Doctors in Papua New Guinea are raising their concerns over a shortage of cancer-treating drugs.

The Post Courier reported the only cancer treatment centre, at the Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae, was operational but limited.

Long term chief radiation oncologist, Dr John Niblett, said the unit was only providing limited radio therapy and chemotherapy treatment because the cobalt source procurement was limited and long overdue.

He said the centre was also short of cancer drugs and treatment machines had only recently been repaired.

Dr Niblett said in a year, there were 500 new cancer patients, with 36 patients currently in the ward.

He said the weekly cancer patient average was 50 to 60 patients, with most of them suffering from the oral cancer, followed by cervical and breast cancer.

He said the proposed amalgamation of the cancer centre with the hospital was not a good move, as there should be a dedicated focus on cancer treatment.


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