Spend to save for cancer treatment

National 1 minute, 34 seconds


WITH the government’s expenditures on technology for modern-day cancer treatment at the Brunei Cancer Centre, Bruneians will not only be able to undergo radiotherapy services here, but the government will be able to have significant savings.

Speaking to Oxford Business Group (OBG) for The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2014, Medical Director Dr Kenneth Kok of Brunei’s Cancer Centre said currently, the nation does not have radiotherapy services available for cancer treatment.

He said this means that a Brunei citizen will need to be sent abroad for this treatment, most frequently to Singapore or Malaysia.

In terms of calculable costs, having such facilities such as those required for radiotherapy in Brunei will result in significant savings, he said.

“Thus, while the government must spend, savings will undoubtedly result in the long run,’’ the medical director said.

Dr Kok explained it is important to note that modern day cancer treatment is very specific and technology centric, so such investments are necessary to provide the required treatment, especially with regard to rare diagnoses and inaccessible cancers.

“We have already allocated the budget necessary to purchase the latest radiotherapy machines, and the government is very willing to make investments that will ensure its people have access to the best treatment possible,” he said.

He added other technology expenditures include the purchase of the latest oncology drugs, as well as nuclear medicine where radioisotopes are used to tell if a cancer has spread to and is targeting specific cells.

In December 2012, Oncology Department in Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital was ordered to merge with the Brunei Cancer Centre to create a single facility responsible for the treatment of cancer in the Sultanate.

The Department of Maxillofacial and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery will also be consolidated and placed under the same administration as the Brunei Cancer and Brunei Neuroscience Stroke Rehabilitation centres.

The Brunei Times