Our analysis shows that if screening is not carried out, it would be a huge burden at the end of the year.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has asked state-owned Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) to provide financing for early screening of lung cancer, which is categorized as a catastrophic disease with high medication costs.

At an online event held to mark World Lung Cancer Day on Zoom on Tuesday, the ministry's policy analyst, Ratu Martiningsih, underscored the importance of early detection of catastrophic diseases such as lung cancer to curb handling costs.

"The Health Minister has underlined the importance of conducting early detection so that patients do not access health facilities when the disease is at an advanced stage because that could be a time bomb," she remarked.

"Our analysis shows that that if screening is not carried out, it would be a huge burden at the end of the year," she said.

The handling cost of patients with advanced stage catastrophic diseases such as cancer and heart diseases could make up to 20 percent of the service cost that BPJS Kesehatan has to cover, she informed.

According to an analysis by the Ministry's Financing and Health Insurance Center, the treatment cost for patients with advanced stage catastrophic diseases could cause a deficit in BPJS Kesehatan's finances within 10 to 30 years, she noted.

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Therefore, the ministry has recommended that BPJS Kesehatan provide financing packages for early screening of catastrophic diseases to reduce the high cost of handling these diseases, she said.

"Currently, 14 screening packages are being developed, which specifically cover lung, intestine cancer, and others," Martiningsih informed.

The government, along with related professional organizations and stakeholders, is discussing the fund allocation for catastrophic disease screening so as not to strain BPJS Kesehatan's finances, she said.

Meanwhile, secretary general of the Indonesia Oncologist Association(POI), Evlina Suzanna, said that lung cancer is estimated to affect 26 thousand to 27 thousand people every year in Indonesia.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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