Stem cell to remain elusive to poor Pinoys-A A +A
Sunday, August 18, 2013
STUDIES show that stem cell treatment has the potential to treat even those considered as end-stage diseases but it may remain “exclusive” to moneyed individuals.
Stem cell therapy is a type of intervention strategy that introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury and has recently seen growing popularity in the country.
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona admitted that it would be hard to make the treatment affordable and will likely continue to cost millions of pesos in the next few years.
“We are not yet talking here of professional fees. We are just talking of equipment, technology… napakamahal ho ng mga yan. That is the reason why we hear about millions of pesos being spent for stem cell treatment,” said Ona.
“Hindi pa ho natin magagawa itong mga ganito na mapamura dahil napakamahal ng proseso ng stem cell po,” he added.
The Health chief said the only time that stem cell treatment can be offered to the poor Filipinos is by the time that the country already has an approved standard care.
“Ang atin hong pangarap is that when this type of therapy already has a standard of care already, ang cost naman nyan will definitely go down and hopefully, kapag meron na tayong apo, mabibigyan na natin siya nito,” said the official.
Ona said there is also a possibility that the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will include it in their package, especially since it has the potential to cure numerous illnesses, including cancer, cancer, autism, diabetes, stroke, and liver disease, among others. (HDT/Sunnex)