Fiji Time: 6:14 PM on Tuesday 23 January

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Need to 'develop health facilities'

Vilimaina Naqelevuki
Saturday, January 13, 2018

WITH only one mammogram machine catering for breast cancer patients at the CWM Hospital, there was a need to develop health facilities in the country, says Fiji Cancer Society CEO Belinda Chen.

Ms Chen said the referral systems to the hospitals were a limitation for cancer patients.

"For us, I think the limitation is with the hospitals, we can only screen so many patients and with the referral system, the breakdown is in the hospitals," she said.

A statement by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services said there was only one mammogram machine catering for patients from the breast cancer clinic and those referred to them by private practitioners.

"The CWM Hospital has one mammogram machine that is providing normal operations and as of last year, more than 140 patients have been referred for mammogram services at the CWMH," the statement said.

The statement added that should there be any problems with the mammogram machine, the Fiji Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Services would be able to address it.

Ms Chen said more awareness was needed on cancer.

"Our focus is also on awareness because we feel a lot of people are still not talking about it, especially men because they think it isn't manly when they talk about these things," she said.

She also highlighted that lack of professional support and awareness towards cancer patients was a major weakness the FCS planned to address.

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