The proposed fund aims to provide free medical treatment for cancer patients in Morocco.
Rabat – The Committee on Petitions at Morocco’s House of Representatives has submitted a report on “the petition of life,” calling for the creation of a fund to cover medical expenses of cancer patients in Morocco.
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani received the report on Tuesday, August 4.
A statement from the Head of Government’s Office said El Othmani received the committee’s members and thanked them for the advice and suggestions included in the report. He also thanked the initiators of the petition and its signatories.
The petition dates back to December 2019. Omar Cherkaoui, a professor at the Faculty of Law in Mohammedia, launched the petition asking the government to create a cancer treatment fund through an amendment to Morocco’s 2020 Finance Bill.
The petition earned signatures from 40,000 Moroccans, including activists, public figures, and academics.
According to El Othmani, the request “expresses a high patriotic and humanitarian sense and is an eloquent example of participatory democracy.”
The head of government said this is the first time a petition sent to the House of Representatives has been followed with a report and a parliamentary opinion.
El Othmani commended the Committee on Petitions’ initiative, recalling that they held 10 meetings in total to study the petition and give it the importance it deserves.
Cancer is a disease that affects many people in Morocco and its treatment costs can pile up over a long period of time, El Othmani deplored.
“Families and relatives of the patients also suffer from the negative effects of the disease,” he added.
The Ministry of Health’s 2017 statistics indicate that nearly 40,000 Moroccans are diagnosed with cancer every year. Breast cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer are some of the most prevalent forms in Morocco.
The head of government expressed his wishes to see such citizen initiatives multiply on the local and national levels. He urged Moroccans to present proposals to local authorities in order to positively impact decision-making.
During his meeting with the committee, El Othmani pledged to thoroughly examine the report with the competent authorities and accelerate its implementation.
Morocco’s Minister of State in Charge of Human Rights, Mustapha Ramid, who also chairs the Committee on Petitions, presented a summary of the report.
According to Ramid, the petition recommends 29 measures relating to Morocco’s cancer prevention and treatment strategy. The text tackles early detection of the disease, access to diagnosis and treatment, as well as availability of drugs.
While preparing the report, the committee held a series of meetings with government departments, including the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy.