Jalisco is struggling to treat cancer patients due to insufficient funding.
Not only has the Jalisco Cancer Institute seen its 2019 budget cut by 42%, the new Jalisco Cancer Hospital is only about 40% complete and the funds needed to finish it are not available.
Health Secretary Fernando Petersen Aranguren told reporters last month he didn’t know if the state would be able to obtain the funding necessary to continue the project, let alone furnish the new facility.
“No, right now there are no earmarked funds — neither state nor federal. We are investigating the project’s history to find out what happened . . . .”
Compounding the problem, the Jalisco Cancer Institute saw its budget slashed from 105 million pesos (US $5.5 million) to 61 million. The budget had been increased in 2018 to meet the hospital’s needs, but this year it is the same as the average allocation of previous years.
The hospital treated over 67,000 patients in 2018 and treats cancer cases from all over the state. To make matters worse it owes nearly 200 million pesos (US $10.5 million) to suppliers.
The new hospital would have 100 beds, while the institute only has 45. Because of the high demand and limited resources, the hospital has had to begin charging patients.
Aranguren explained that testicular, prostate, breast, cervical and colon cancers, along with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, are all covered by social security. However, since last year patients suffering from other forms of the disease, such as lung cancer, have had to pay for consultations and undergo a socioeconomic study to determine their ability to pay and how much they are charged.
“Unfortunately the institute no longer has the financial means of continuing to treat patients with other forms of cancer, and we have had to start asking them for payment.”
According to the World Health Organization, lung and skin cancer, both of which are not covered, are the most common types of the disease.