Pediatric cancer base hospitals will be established in five regions, excluding the metropolitan area, so that local childhood cancer patients can receive treatment without leaving their residence. Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital takes on the role in the Busan안전놀이터, Ulsan, and Gyeongnam regions.
On the 20th, the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that it would foster child cancer base hospitals in five regions nationwide, excluding Seoul, to establish a pediatric cancer treatment system. The base hospitals are △ Yangsan Pusan National University Hospital (Buulgyeong area) △ Chilgok Kyungpook National University Hospital (Gyeongbuk area) △ National Cancer Center (Gyeonggi area) △ Chungnam National University Hospital (Chungnam area) △ Hwasun Chonnam National University Hospital (Honam area).
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, patients living in the provinces are receiving treatment such as surgery and hospitalization at hospitals in the metropolitan area due to the lack of local pediatric cancer manpower and treatment infrastructure. In 2020, 184 new pediatric cancer patients occurred in the Booulgyeong region. In the case of pediatric cancer, the incidence of blood cancer such as leukemia is the highest, and there are only two pediatric hematological oncologists at Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital. Yangsan Kim (8), who was hospitalized through the emergency room at Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital last May, was also diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and eventually moved to a hospital in the metropolitan area after three days. This is because she judged that it would be difficult to receive active initial treatment in the course of long-term treatment in the future due to the lack of pediatric medical staff as well as pediatric hematologic oncologists.
Such incidents occur frequently not only in Buul-gyeong but also in the provinces other than the metropolitan area. Pediatric cancer patients and their families residing in rural areas are flocking to metropolitan hospitals for treatment, which adds to the social and economic burden. During last year’s parliamentary audit, it was pointed out that the pediatric cancer treatment system was collapsing and that a countermeasure was needed.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare plans to establish a pediatric cancer treatment system by establishing base hospitals across the country and hiring new medical staff. The pediatric hematologic oncologist focuses on outpatient treatment and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, while leaving the wards and emergency rooms to new personnel, such as commissioned doctors. In the case of large hospitals in the metropolitan area, residents are exclusively in charge of hospitalization and emergency rooms, but regional base hospitals are in charge of specialists in rotation due to the lack of specialists. Through this, in the case of doctors, a 24-hour response system is maintained, day and night, and holidays, and dedicated nurses and pharmacists and nutritionists in charge of childhood cancer are also designated. Specifically, the company is reviewing a method of hiring one additional pediatric hemato-oncologist to make it three, hiring three new commissioned doctors, and forming a dedicated team of five specialists from other departments.
This measure aims to provide complete medical services, from childhood cancer diagnosis to chemotherapy, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and follow-up care, at regional base hospitals. A linkage system will also be established so that patients who need high-difficulty severe surgery and anti-cancer treatment using state-of-the-art equipment, which are difficult to treat at regional base hospitals, can receive treatment at a hospital in the metropolitan area or the National Cancer Center and then return to a regional base hospital for follow-up treatment. am.
Second Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Park Min-soo said, “Pediatric cancer requires intensive treatment for one to two years after diagnosis. We will spare no support so that the medical treatment system can be stably established so that patients and their families do not experience any inconvenience.”