Cancer: It’s All About the Price Tag
Dr Marais, CEO of the Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON), examines the high cost of cancer in South Africa and the financial impact on the patient and practitioner.
Affordable cancer care is a delicate and complex balancing act which impacts patient, practitioner and pockets.
The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics released a study on 07 June 2016 and it hit almost every headline as it revealed the high cost of cancer care, and how it is set to rise over the next four years.
It was a price tag tsunami with a global oncology bill of $US150 billion by 2020, an increase of around 10.5% per annum, and that was just for the medication.
Inequality worsens the problem
The same report also highlighted that, while the cost of medication and care in South Africa may be cheaper than the USA on average, the economic demographics of the country make calculating the realities of affordability complex. As a country, the Gini Coefficient gives SA the dubious honour of second place as one of the most unequal in the world. There is a real need to provide people with affordable cancer care, but there has to be a balance between what patients receive in terms of treatment, and what is affordable to both patient and medical scheme. In addition to this doctors need to be paid appropriately for the service they provide.
Dr Ernst Marais, Chief Operating Officer of ICON, explains: “The Value Equation in health economics is that the value of healthcare equals outcomes over cost. In this equation, outcome is the proxy for the quality of the care. Quality is measured across three main areas: infrastructure, process and outcomes.
To ensure patients access to good infrastructure, ICON have stringent accreditation programmes in place with a strict evaluation process to ensure that all treatment centres offer the same high-level of quality care. For example, all ICON accredited radiotherapy units, subscribe to the same self-accreditation and inspection process, assuring a set standard for access to high quality technology and service delivery.
The process element focuses on the care provided to the patient – how they are treated, what methodology is employed and how supportive care is provided. ICON is contracted with 128 oncologists across South Africa which is about80% of the private oncologists countrywide. This network contributes towards the clinical and supportive protocols which clearly define process. These protocols are stratified by treatment intent and are evidence-based and so ensure the right patient receives the right treatment, at the right time and in the right place.
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Posted on 11 November, 2016, in Articles, Blog and tagged cancer treatment, childhood cancer, Childhood Cancer Awareness, Children with Cancer, paediatric cancer, Pediatric cancer, pediatric cancer awareness, south africa. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.