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Prime Minister visits visits Salah Azaiez Institute of Cancer on its 50th anniversary

Published the:  13/04/2019

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(TAP) - Prime Minister Youssef Chahed visited the Salah Azaiez Cancer Institute on Saturday to celebrate its 50th birthday.

At the end of his tour in the various wards of this hospital, which has received advanced medical equipment, Chahed said the new medical equipment "is able to improve the quality of health services for citizens.

The newly acquired medical equipment consists of a medical linear accelerator and a scanner assigned to the radiotherapy department, a Pet scanner that is the first of its kind in the public health sector in Tunisia, "but which is still waiting for regulation of procedures for a week or two weeks at most, "said Khaled Rahal, head of Surgery Department at the Institute Salah Azaiez.

He added that this device will allow improving the diagnosis of cancerous tumors and monitoring treatment.

The medical equipment of the Salah Azaiez Institute also consists of a surgical robot, which is an assisted surgery system, assigned to the Institute's cancer surgery department.

There was also talk of setting up a new "sterile white hospital room” dedicated to the preparation of chemotherapy in a sterilized environment that would "allow greater precision and saving in the use of drugs at a rate varying between 25% and 30%.

Speaking to reports at the end of his tour of the Salah Azaiez Institute, Chahed said "this is a well-established hospital with many years of experience ", commending the medics and paramedics “who practice in difficult conditions but nevertheless continue to achieve great success".

Chahed said the health sector, like other sectors, has been undermined by the lack of funds and the difficult situation in the country.

The Prime Minister, who was accompanied during his tour by acting Health Minister Sonia Bechikh, also stated that "the health sector must not be affected by the currently prevailing populism, as it has contributed to the training of thousands of competent executives in the various medical fields".

He, in this vein, indicated: "we are committed to implementing the health sector reform plan and all the measures taken in this direction, which will produce results within a short period of time".

Chahed also said his visit comes as part of monitoring the emergency plan ordered two weeks ago by the government, after the participatory dialogue that brought together the various stakeholders in the health sector and provided a set of measures in terms of governance, hygiene, equipment and digitization of public hospitals.

He stressed that these measures aim to improve the quality of health services, noting that their implementation is already underway through the reduction of waiting times and online appointments.

The PM added that "follow-up work will be carried out during the coming months, in order to guarantee the success of the emergency plan defined to cover a maximum period of 12 to 18 months.”

The chairman of the medical committee at the Salah Azaiez Institute, Prof. Khaled Rahal, said a centre under the Salah Azaiez Institute will be dedicated to external consultations and archives.

"A new center specialised in the treatment of cancerous diseases will be created in Ben Arous and will be in tune with modern standards, with a budget of more than 200 MD funded by Kuwait,” he said.

It includes a hospital admittance department and a space dedicated to the accommodation of families of patients from several regions and a leisure area to promote reception and care services for patients.

He added that the Jendouba cancer treatment centre is ready and will soon be operational. It is equipped with radiotherapy, chemotherapy and oncology surgery.

The Salah Azaiez institute was created on March 14, 1969. In 1993 this institute was converted into a public health facility.

The institute, which has a capacity of 187 beds, provided 9,464 outpatient consultations and 8,666 hospitalizations in 2018.

According to the Institute’s medical device identification sheets distributed to journalists on the occasion, the operation of the medical linear r accelerator (4MD) was planned for July 2017, the scanner (1.3 MD) in April 2016, while the sterile white hospital room was to be ready by September 2016.

The Surgical Robot, estimated at more than 5 MD, was scheduled to begin operation on August 10, 2018, while the new Pet scanner, whose tender was launched in 2016, was scheduled for April 2019.