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Brazilian government announces major investments for cancer treatment


13:46, April 19, 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 18 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian Health Ministry announced on Wednesday an investment of 505 million reais (270 million U.S. dollars) on cancer treatment in the country's public health care system.

Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said that 325 million reais (173.8 million U.S. dollars) will be invested in the infrastructure of the facilities which perform cancer treatment in the country, while the remaining 180 million reais (96.2 million U.S. dollars) will be used to purchase 80 linear accelerators, which are used in radiotherapy.

Padilha said that the money will be invested over the next four years, adding that by 2015 a factory will produce the linear accelerators locally, so Brazil will no longer need to purchase the equipment abroad.

"This will lead to a more sustainable equipment production, will generate technological innovation and more jobs to our country," the Minister said.

A total of 48 hospitals will benefit from the plan, and another 32 cancer treatment facilities will be built in the country. The government aims to offer more cancer treatment in the northern and northeastern regions, which have far few cancer-treating hospitals than the more developed southeast.

The Brazilian public healthcare system is responsible for 75 percent of the cancer treatment made in the country. A total of 148 facilities offer radiotherapy service.

Expanding the cancer treatment network is a campaign promise of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, who is herself a cancer survivor. Rousseff's predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was also diagnosed with cancer in late 2011 and underwent several chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, and has recently been pronounced cancer-free.


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