Legislation to support cancer treatment for next sitting of Parliament


A Bill that meets international standards for radiation treatment is in the final stages and will be tabled at the next sitting of Parliament.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony, during his daily COVID-19 update on Wednesday, shared that a committee has been established to review the Bill.

The Radiation Bill is the first of its kind in Guyana.

“What this Bill seeks to do for the first time, in our country, [is] to be able to establish international norms and adopt them as national norms for Guyana in terms of how we do imaging and how we do these processes to treat cancer and I think it’s important if we are going to develop cancer treatments in this country, we need to have the legislative framework,” Dr. Anthony explained.

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. At low doses, radiation is used in x-rays to see inside your body, as with x-rays of your teeth or broken bones.

The Ministry of Health has been working with the International Atomic Energy Agency to compile the drafted legislation. The minister said the partnership is to ensure that the legislation is in keeping with international standards and practices.

In the medical field, radiation is used for imaging procedures. This includes x-ray beams, CT scans, and cancer treatment. Radiation emitted to persons should be done in dosages to ensure exposure is safe.

Dr Anthony acknowledged that exposure must be regularised.

“All these things, the emission from these can be harmful to people and therefore we need to regulate the doses to make sure that when we are administering these procedures that we do it with the right equipment, the right dosage so that people are not harmed,

“It’s important for us to be able to make a medical diagnosis but you have to do it in the right way,” the minister said.

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