New Federal Cancer Plan sparks controversy
The Federal Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx (Francophone socialist) is releasing more cash for improved cancer prevention and treatment. More money will also be available to support cancer victims and their families. Ms Onkelinx on Monday unveiled the country's new cancer plan.
In all the plan includes 32 different measures.
In future patients will get their fees reimbursed if they consult a tobacco expert.
The vaccination for cervical cancer will now also be reimbursed for young women aged 16 and 17.
The Minister also wants new cancer drugs to be reimbursed and for patients to get a reimbursement of the extra costs of cancer treatment more quickly.
The plan will also make it possible for patients to get recognition for a handicap resulting from cancer treatment.
Ms Onkelinx is also proposing the creation of a federal cancer expertise centre that will group all the country’s expertise in the fight against this disease and co-ordinate initiatives launched by the federal and devolved authorities.
380 million euros is being released to pay for the plan, but this federal initiative is coming under fire from the Flemish Christian democrats. They are wary of the federal authorities taking initiatives in fields reserved for the Flemish Government.
The Flemish Cancer League is not too happy either. It believes the plan is the result of very hasty work.