In a bid to save lives, AstraZeneca Philippines has signed an agreement with Security Bank Corporation and SB Finance to provide cancer patients with easier funding options for diagnostics and long-term treatment.
In a statement, Security Bank said the Cancer Care Ecosystem Funding Partnership is part of AstraZeneca’s commitment to developing a standard for cancer care and improving patient outcomes. This is AstraZeneca’ first-ever partnership with financial service providers.
Through SB Finance’s zukì mobile app, cancer patients can apply for three different types of funding options:
-Hooloogan cash loan which covers loanable amounts of up to P200,000 for initial tests and professional medical fees,
-Personal Loan of up to P2 million in cash to cover for a one year treatment, and
-Car4Cash which allows vehicle owners access to cash in exchange for their car’s OR/CR (Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration) which may cover up to P2 million for a one-year treatment.
GLOBOCAN 2020 states that lung cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer type among patients globally. In the Philippines, the Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN) has noted 153,751 new cancer cases in 2020, with over 350,000 prevalent cases over a 5-year period.
Among the cancer cases, lung cancer was also seen to be the leading cause of cancer death, with an 18.4 percent mortality rate in the country.
To help alleviate the burden amongst cancer patients in the Philippines, especially those diagnosed with lung cancer, AstraZeneca in partnership with Security Bank and SB Finance introduced innovative solutions that will shape the landscape.
The Cancer Care Ecosystem Funding Partnership will complement the existing programme called the Lung Ambition Alliance which aims to promote early detection, train healthcare providers, and increase lay awareness.
AstraZeneca Philippines Country President Lotis Ramin emphasizes the importance of expanding networks to be able to contribute to a holistic disease approach, creating an ecosphere of widening healthcare access for Filipinos.
“Expanding collaboration beyond healthcare network is pivotal to ensure that everyone receives equitable, quality healthcare. We must work with various stakeholders together to help create a more resilient health system, and to develop solutions for broader access,” he noted.
Ramin added that, “Now, through the partnership with Security Bank and SB Finance, we are able to provide alternative solutions to access innovative treatments and help lessen the burden among cancer patients.”
“I have experienced the challenges of battling this terrible and destructive disease as I have lost my mother and my grandmother to cancer,” said SB Finance President and CEO Abigail Casanova.
She added that, “I understand firsthand not only how this disease erodes the bodies of those affected, but also how equally impactful the emotional and financial burdens the patients and their loved ones must deal with and survive through are.”
“While some of us are more fortunate to have both the emotional and financial support that is required as one battles cancer, majority of our fellow Filipinos lack the adequate resources to fight this terrible disease,” Casanova noted.
She pointed out that, “No amount of money and financial support can ever ease the emotional pain and trauma that families go through. I pray that what little assistance our three institutions are able to provide could minimize a few of the burdens that these families need to worry about.”
“The pandemic underlined the critical need for affordable healthcare globally. Through this partnership, we are lowering the barriers to healthcare access through affordable and innovative digital financial solutions,” Security Bank Executive Vice President and Retail Banking Segment Group Head Maki Tingson said.
He said that, “What’s important here are our customers, Filipino cancer patients who may benefit immensely from this partnership. We’re giving them a fighting chance to immediately act upon one of the most fatal diseases in the country to date.”