“(This collaboration is meant to ensure) Treatment for cancer patients in Indonesia to have its quality improved because cancer is the third-ranked killer disease (in Indonesia), and the figure grows rampantly," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said here on Friday.
He delivered the statement during the inking of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in cancer treatment services at Dharmais Cancer Hospital.
The MoU was signed as part of the commemoration of World Cancer Day, which is celebrated on February 4 every year.
Efforts to improve cancer treatment services require cooperation from relevant stakeholders, including the Texas cancer center, Minister Sadikin said.
The Health Ministry picked Dharmais Cancer Hospital for the cooperation as the hospital has earned its place as a national cancer center that has already established collaboration with its global counterparts.
Currently, Dharmais Cancer Hospital has become a national cancer network administrator for the development of cancer services, training, and education of national cancer experts.
The minister said that the main goal of the collaboration is technology and knowledge transfer for improving cancer services.
He further said that he expects the collaboration to instill confidence in patients so that they entrust their treatment and recovery to 144 government hospitals, particularly Dharmais Cancer Hospital.
The scope of the collaboration includes planning and implementing cancer control; training support; carrying out education and capacity building; exchanging of visits by faculty, scholars, and administrators; as well as organizing joint conferences and symposiums.
The two institutions have also agreed to improve the patient referral system from Indonesia to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, and from MD Anderson to Indonesia, including to Dharmais Hospital, as well as enhance collaboration in the ECHO Project telementoring program, in coordination with the ECHO Institute at the University of New Mexico, as part of technology and knowledge transfer.
President Director of Dharmais Cancer Hospital Raden Soeko Nindito affirmed that the collaboration will allow for opportunities to adjust national comprehensive cancer services with MD Anderson's technology.
"Our services will also be adjusted to MD Anderson, especially for patients of cancer in advanced stages," he said.
He opined that the effort to improve cancer services will also include public education on cancer to ensure that early detection can run well.
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at MD Anderson Chris McKee lauded the envisaged collective effort.
"We commend the collective effort that will be made by stakeholders in Indonesia. This effort will have a major impact on addressing the cancer issue in Indonesia, and we expect that in the future, we can overcome cancer together," he remarked.
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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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