Cancer patients plead for easy-to-follow path to treatment

May 10, 2024 6:27 am

Cancer survivor, Jiu Tikoitoga

A cancer survivor, Jiu Tikoitoga shares that the arrangement of treatment locally and internationally is still difficult for people diagnosed with cancer.

She says the challenge persists, despite the urgency for early diagnosis and treatment, pleading with the government to establish an easy-to-follow path to treatment.

Tikoitoga hopes that patients would not have to endure similar experiences in the future.

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“I had to do everything on my own. Again, I would have wished that my former colleagues at the Ministry of Health would have helped me to at least identify a hospital overseas. They did not do that. At least, I wish that they would have helped me, made an appointment ready for me before I went across. That wasn’t done, too.”

Tikoitoga says she was fortunate to have the support of her friends and families.

“As you maybe well aware, due to our issues with the staff shortages and infrastructure problem – we have a backlog of cases here in the theaters. So, most of those backlog of cases are to do with cancers. So, again something that the government is trying to improve.”

Health Minister Dr Atonio Lalabalavu

The Health Minister acknowledges that the ministry lacks in this area as it also faces a number of challenges, but it pledges to improve its processes.

Dr Atonio Lalabalavu says the ministry will fix their operating theaters as an immediate action to address the issue; the ministry plans to fix an additional two theaters in two months, to assist the four theaters currently in operation.