Philippines incorporates cancer screening into workplace healthcare initiatives hinh anh 1Office worker Gemma Remojo attends a free HPV test in her workplace in Taguig City, Philippines on January 26. (Mariejo Ramos/Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Hanoi (VNA) – Facing high cancer rates and late diagnoses, the Philippines is asking businesses to screen millions of workers for early signs of the disease, according to Reuters news agency.

As reported by Reuters, in September, the country’s government ordered all employers to set up cancer prevention and control programmes to ease pressures on time- and cash-poor staff, who must otherwise contribute to the cost of diagnosis and treatment themselves.

Employers are now required to give employees access to cancer screening, by referrals to reputable health facilities or conducting free screenings themselves.

The order stemmed from the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, which pledged better screening, diagnosis and treatment and to make health services “more equitable and affordable for all, especially for the underprivileged, poor and marginalised.”

Filipino cancer patients lose a combined 35 billion PHP (625 million USD) a year in medical costs, out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages, according to a study by health economist Valerie Ulep of state think-tank the Philippine Institute for Development Studies./.