Closing the Care Gap — The IOC Journey in 2023
From 2022 to 2024, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) had one mission; to close the care gap in cancer. Throughout these three years, the commemoration of World Cancer Day on 4th February echoed online and in real life, bouncing from social media to the walls of hospitals. IOC was no exception.
In 2022, we highlighted IOC’s efforts in closing the cancer care gap in Southeast Asia through integrated cancer care amidst the pandemic. One year later, COVID-19 has become endemic, with WHO declaring an end to the global health emergency. With medical tourism making a comeback and healthcare operations in full swing, 2023 became the year our organisation made major strides to close the care gap.
A year of growth
Post-pandemic recovery had transformed into renewed focus on improving the range of our operations. Our operating companies opened new breast centres in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, giving many breast cancer patients access to quality care. 2023 also saw the birth of our newest hospital, PJ Integrated Centre for Advanced Surgery and Oncology (PICASO) in Malaysia, which had completed construction. As a private hospital focusing on advanced surgery and integrated cancer care, Picaso Hospital will play a huge role in helping to lift the burden of cancer care from the Malaysian public healthcare system.
These new additions to our organisation are not just limited to new buildings, but new equipment and upgrades to our existing centres and hospitals as well. Central Luzon Integrated Oncology Centre (CLIOC) made national headlines in the Philippines with the launch of the Radixact machine, the first radiotherapy treatment device of its kind in the country. With an additional Tomotherapy system available, the waiting time for patients is reduced, enabling CLIOC to treat even more patients. In Vietnam, Hung Viet Cancer Hospital had upgrades to its endoscopy, radiotherapy and ward facilities, coinciding with the hospital’s 11th anniversary.
All this growth was also reflected in the size of our organisation. Our numbers grew with sixteen new doctors joining the teams throughout our centres and hospitals, bringing with them new perspectives and wisdom. As our multidisciplinary teams throughout IOC continue to expand, we hope to better serve our patients and offer more comprehensive solutions. We are also proud to welcome many new staff, ranging from clinical to non-clinical professionals.
Closing the Care Gap
As IOC grows, we hope to continue to play our part in closing the cancer care gap in Asia. More and more cancer patients are being diagnosed with cancer each day. Having to improve our services and operations to meet these increasing demands is paramount for our role as a cancer care provider in the region.
With 2023 ending on a high note, we hope to maintain this tailwind and sail into the rest of 2024 with even greater dedication to bringing hope and top-quality cancer care to Asia.