The right to health of children and adolescents with cancer in Sinaloa

Cancer has become one of the leading causes of death among children and adolescents. Around the world, approximately 400,000 children and adolescents between the ages of 0 and 19 suffer from cancer each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Mexico, while it is true that the greatest number of deaths from cancer occur at older ages, in 2020 it was the main cause of death among children between 5 and 14 years old, according to figures from INEGI (Press Release No. 592/21 October 28, 2021).

Among the traces of inequality that exist in the world, the chances of survival of a child or adolescent diagnosed with cancer depend on where they live. According to the WHO, in “high-income countries, where there is generally access to comprehensive care services, more than 80% of children affected by cancer are cured, but in low- and middle-income countries, less than 30% are. ( In other words, children and adolescents are at risk of falling ill in all countries of the world; but the chances of survival are very different depending on the country where you are. Same rights to health, profound inequality in their exercise.

In Mexico, it is estimated that almost 60% of the child population does not benefit from any type of social security, according to projections by the National Population Council (CONAPO), published by the Secretary of Health (https://www Considering the social impact of this disease, such as the severe physical, psychological and economic repercussions for the miners, as well as their families, on July 11, Decree No. 186 of the State of Sinaloa was published in the Journal state official. Congress of the State of Sinaloa, by which the “Law for the early detection of cancer in children and adolescents of the State of Sinaloa” (LDOCIyAES) is published.

The purpose of this law is to guarantee the right of access to healthcare for children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer. Since its entry into force (which occurred the day after its publication), Sinaloa miners have the right to receive “integrated medical care, promotional, preventive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative actions, including emergency care”.

In particular, they have the right to “receive timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer in any of its types or modalities”, according to article 6, section I, of the LDOCIyAES. They also have the right to benefit from the benefits of the corresponding health services, for the “necessary treatment, from the confirmation of the diagnosis and until the medical discharge, whether or not the patient is over 18 years old in the process”.

In addition, they have the right to receive benefits for carrying out paraclinical tests that corroborate the diagnosis, as well as to have psychosocial support services according to their needs.

A key point is that they have the right to count, “from the time cancer is suspected and until the diagnosis is not ruled out, with all procedures cleared, fully and expeditiously » ; and receive special academic support at the Accredited Medical Unit (UMA), so that school absences due to the treatment and consequences of the disease do not significantly affect their academic performance.

In accordance with article 20 of the LDOCIyAES, in the event of a well-founded suspicion of cancer, the health personnel who have the first contact with the patient must refer him to a doctor qualified to make the diagnosis in a timely manner. In the event that the above is not possible, the mechanisms must be applied so that it is routed to an accredited medical unit.

The health service provider at any level of care must refer the patient to the approved medical unit corresponding to the nearest area, within a period not exceeding seven working days, when there is a presumption of cancer, without prejudice to prescribe all paraclinical tests and specialized procedures considered essential until a certain diagnosis is made.

The moment a doctor diagnoses cancer in a girl, boy or adolescent, he must enter it into the national registry database, and from then until the diagnosis is ruled out, he will have the authorization of all the procedures, in a complete and timely manner, within the meaning of article 24 of the LDOCIyAES.

That is, the accredited medical unit will authorize the services required by the child or adolescent in a timely manner. And in the event that the approved medical unit in which the diagnosis was made does not have the necessary services or does not have the capacity available, the child or adolescent will be referred to the nearest approved medical unit. .

A sensitive point concerns the resources that the State of Sinaloa will allocate to make these important dimensions of the right to health of children and adolescents a reality; because, unfortunately, the local deputies have established that “the application of this decree will be subject to the budgetary availability available to the Chief Executive for the timely prevention of cancer in childhood and adolescence in the State of Sinaloa” (third transitional article of the LDOCIyAES).

We say it is very unfortunate, because it holds the realization of the right to health of children and adolescents with cancer; at the discretion of the Governor; when the “General Law for the rapid detection of cancer in children and adolescents” in its seventh transitional article, established that “the expenses generated due to the entry into force of this decree will be covered in a manner charged to the authorized budgets of the current financial year and the following ones”. In other words, by establishing that the budgets will be covered progressively, it means that they cannot be reduced, but rather grow, year after year; without being subject to the will of a person.


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