Mon, Aug 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Certified hospitals offer better cancer treatment: agency

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Fifty-eight hospitals nationwide have Cancer Treatment Quality Accreditation, offering a higher standard of care, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said.

Patients who have just been diagnosed with cancer often panic and do not know what to do, and some might turn to folk remedies or refuse treatment and care, afraid that it could impose a heavy economic burden on their families, the HPA said.

The agency cited the case of an unmarried 68-year-old man surnamed Su (蘇), a low-income resident who lives alone and uses a wheelchair, and who was diagnosed with bladder cancer earlier this year, but worried that he could no longer afford long-term care if he received the invasive surgery recommended by his physician.

Luckily, a cancer case manager at a quality accredited hospital discovered Su’s concerns, coordinated the discussions between the physicians and him, and managed to persuade him to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The HPA said it referenced similar programs in the UK and the US before it officially established the program in 2008, and now patients choosing designated hospitals are assured quality treatment and care with dignity.

The accredited hospitals have changed their approach, from physicians in different departments treating cancer independently to forming specialized medical teams and integrated care services.

Accreditation requires that hospitals have standard operating procedures for chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgeries; monitor drug prescription and administration for safety; and have cancer case managers, nutritionists and psychologists on hand to assist physicians in communicating with patients, HPA Director-General Wang Ying-wei (王英偉) said.

More than 80 percent of cancer patients are treated at the 58 accredited hospitals, and the five-year survival rate at these hospitals increased from 50 percent between 1994 and 1998 — 10 years before the program began — to 56 percent between 2011 and 2015, the HPA said.

The hospitals can be found at www.hpa.gov.tw/Pages/Detail.aspx?nodeid=612&pid=1093.

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