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Venezuelan government building 19 new cancer treatment centers

Through an agreement with the Republic of Argentina, the government of Venezuela is in the process of developing 19 radiation and nuclear medicine centers, with the latest high tech equipment, in order to give free health care to people that have different types of cancer.

According to Claudia Morón, Director of the National Oncology Program of the Ministry of People’s Power for Health and Social Welfare, the country’s new cancer treatment centers have linear accelerators, cobalt machines, brachytherapy units and high tech nuclear medicine.

She also noted that cancer is the second leading cause of death in Venezuela; as such, the government has invested approximately $91 million for oncology throughout the country.

Morón explained that the funds go to cancer treatment, as well as renovation of existing treatment centers, equipment, and the construction of new treatment centers in 15 states around the country.

The Oncology Program Director went on to say that five of the new centers will be in Caracas, and oncology areas are being installed in the following hospitals: Maracay Central in Aragua state; Miguel Pérez Carreño in Carabobo state; Adolfo Bangrique in Falón state; Ruiz y Páez in Bolívar state; Antonio Maria Pineda in Lara sate; Patricio Alcalá in Sucre state; Luis Razette in Anzoátegui state; and the University of Los Andes Hospital in Mérida state.

Regarding the construction of centers, Morón listed the following hospitals, which will receive new centers: University Hospital of Maracaibo in Zulia state; Luis Ortega of Porlamar in Nueva Esparta state; Central Hospital of San Cristóbal in Táchira state; Ramores Balsa in Guárico state; and Central Hospital of Portuguesa state.

She further indicated that an upgraded oncology area is among the renovation projects slated for José María Vargas Hospital of Caracas.

Morón said that beyond health, cancer patients will benefit from the social and economic aspects of these projects.

“With these projects we are decentralizing and decongesting our hospitals in Caracas. . . . Now patients do not have to travel from their home regions to Caracas in order to receive specialized, free and high quality care,” she explained.

The Oncology Program Director noted that since 2000, the revolutionary government of President Hugo Chávez has given priority and emphasis to projects that will improve the quality of oncology care, making important investments for cancer treatment.

Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / March 26, 2009

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