The Medical City partners with AIA Philippines to make cancer care more accessible to Filipinos
The Medical City (TMC) through its Cancer Institute and corporate foundation Akbay Ginhawa Foundation, Inc., partners with leading insurance company AIA Philippines to make cancer care services more accessible and affordable to Filipinos.
AIA Philippines supports the newly launched program of the Augusto P. Sarmiento Cancer Institute (APSCI) called “SCReen And Prevent (SCRAP) Cancer,” which aims to enhance community access to necessary cancer care prevention, screening, early diagnosis, treatment, and end-to-end patient navigation to indigent population at risk for breast, cervical, colorectal, oral cavity, and liver cancers. AIA welcomes this partnership since an integral part of its “Healthier, Longer, and Better Lives” campaign ventures in providing breast cancer services to targeted communities.
“We emphasize on the importance of health as an investment, and I think this is where the partnership with AIA is centered,” said TMC President and CEO Dr. Eugenio Jose Ramos during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between TMC and AIA Philippines held on February 11, 2022.
“Today, AIA Philippines and The Medical City are joining forces to make quality cancer care more accessible and affordable to Filipinos. We aim to provide services in the diagnosis, surgical procedures, treatment procedures, as well as supplies and medicines needed by patients diagnosed through the program,” said Leonardo Tan, Jr., Chief Marketing Officer of AIA Philippines.
One of the major projects under the SCRAP Cancer program is the PINK Bus, a vehicle furnished with a complete screening equipment, technology, and manpower that will focus on the screening of breast and cervical cancer, the first and third most common cancers among TMC-APSCI patients.
Through the support and funding assistance of AIA Philippines and other generous donors, the APSCI SCRAP CANCER PINK Bus project will soon cater to eligible women in chosen communities, including those who could not afford screening for and treatment of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. Barangay health workers will also be educated on breast cancer screening and prevention.
TMC-APSCI will also offer free mammograms and consultations to healthy but at-risk women aged 50-69 years old, under its Community Outreach Screening Program.
APSCI Director Dr. Beatrice Tiangco related that the partnership between TMC and AIA Philippines began when she met AIA Philippines Environmental, Social and Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility Consultant Max Ventura.
Ventura willingly helped her in her cancer registry advocacy of “every preventable cancer averted, every screenable cancer detected, and every cancer patient counted.”
“The one thing I learned working with Max is we need to develop trust. It has blossomed now into a very good working relationship, and this is something that I hope TMC-APSCI will experience together with AIA. Together, we will screen, prevent, and eventually, totally scrap cancer from the Philippines,” said Dr. Tiangco.
For his part, Dr. Rafael Claudio, the President of Akbay Ginhawa, peeled the meaning of the foundation. “Akbay” denotes companionship which reflects TMC institution’s strategies of patient partnership. “Ginhawa” is the breath of life, freedom, and relief from the suffering that TMC seeks for its patients.
“We realize that the diseases we treat in our hospitals are only a part of, and a manifestation of a deeper social and behavioral problems that adversely affect the health and life of Filipinos. Thus, we need to have a health, education, early detection of illness, and prevention. We realize that if we treat an illness of one or maybe a few lives, but if we prevent it and treat the illness, it can save a multitude more lives,” said Dr. Claudio.
Through this partnership, TMC-APSCI and Akbay Ginhawa will be able to reach underprivileged communities within the TMC neighborhood to educate, detect, and prevent said cancers.
Akbay Ginhawa’s vision and mission, and the Cancer registry advocacy of TMC-APSCI were integrated in the laser-focused proposal of the corporate social responsibility program of AIA Philippines.
In a study from the International Agency for Research in Cancer, Philippines is forecasted to have 153,000 new cancer cases just for this year, 17.7% of which, or 27,000, are females to be diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
This prompted AIA Philippines to take an action of finding a trusted partner and doing a promising deed that can lower the possibilities of these numbers.
“Nakakataba po ng puso na (It is heartwarming that) the leaders of different industries are collaborating together to help Filipinos live healthier, longer lives. Maraming salamat (Thank you),” said Tan, Jr.
Dr. Ramos expressed gratitude to AIA Philippines for joining TMC-APSCI in its advocacy.
Through this endeavor, TMC has found a partner in identifying the cancer care needs of individuals especially the underprivileged like the indigent population, educate them, and help them be responsible for their own health. The goal is to prevent, detect, screen, and count every cancer.
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