Senate approves comprehensive care in SUS for cancer patients – 08/19/2021 – Balance and Health

The Senate approved this Thursday (19) the project that creates the National Cancer Policy. The proposal determines the comprehensive care of patients with the disease in the SUS (Unified Health System) and lists the fundamental rights of these people.

The text has been modified and returns to the Chamber of Deputies. It defines comprehensive care as that provided at different levels of complexity and hierarchy, in the various medical specialties, psychological assistance, specialized care and home care when indicated.

The proposal also establishes that anyone diagnosed with any type of cancer must be assured of obtaining an early diagnosis; access to universal, equitable, adequate and less harmful treatment; access to transparent and objective information regarding the disease and social and legal assistance.

One of the changes made by the senators guarantees access to the most effective medications and home care for patients. They also changed the name of the law, which was originally to be the Person with Cancer Statute.

According to the rules of the text, they should still have priority in the service in public services offered in public and private bodies, in the processing of judicial and administrative proceedings and in the presence of a companion during the service and the treatment period.

The project determines that the care provided to children and adolescents with cancer must be special at all stages, and universal and comprehensive treatment must be guaranteed, prioritizing prevention and early diagnosis.

Regarding children and teenagers, the project says that the assistance to them should be special at all stages.

An amendment presented by senator Paulo Paim (PT-RS) provided for the obligation of private health plans to provide coverage for home treatments for oral cancer.

The proposal’s rapporteur, Senator Carlos Viana (PSD-MG), rejected the proposal and argued that a similar bill was vetoed recently by President Jair Bolsonaro (no party).

Viana stated that “the most appropriate thing is for this issue to be considered when there is a deliberation on the veto”.

By justifying the veto, the government said that the inclusion of medications automatically, without a proper evaluation by the ANS (National Health Agency) for the incorporation of medications in the list of procedures and events in health, would go against the public interest.

This is because it would fail to take into account “aspects such as predictability, transparency and legal certainty for market actors and the entire civil society, in order to compromise the market’s sustainability”, said a note released by the Presidency’s Secretariat for Communication.