Filipina expat with breast cancer gets help from Burjeel Hospital Dubai

Dr Humaid Al Shamsi, Director of VPS Oncology services, briefs Joylyn Hantig Reano about her course of treatment at Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery in Dubai.

Dubai: A Filipina expat with early stage of breast cancer has received help from a hospital based in Dubai, following news of her medical condition in Gulf News.

Burjeel Hospital in Dubai has come forward to help the financially burdened cancer patient. Joylyn Hantig Reano, 40, who has lived here in the UAE for six years was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer last July. She underwent a mastectomy on March 18 at the New Medical Centre hospital in Al Nahda. The hospital bill amounted to Dh24,000. After asking for a discount from the hospital, the amount has been reduced to Dh19,000. Besides, Joylyn has been advised to take 14 chemotherapy sessions, the cost of which amounts to Dh142,000.

Assistant teacher

Joylyn, who works as assistant teacher earning a monthly salary of Dh2,500, said she has medical insurance but her limit has been fully consumed as she had to undergo several chemotherapy sessions even before her surgery. What is more, her insurance will be renewed this July. Until then, she has to settle her pending bills.

Unfortunately her husband Ryan, who worked as a landscape draftsman, earning a monthly salary of Dh6,400 for a Dubai company, has been out of work since March. He resigned from his job in February as he had not been paid for three months.

Financial burden

Joylyn and Ryan have two children, son France James Reano who is 11 years old and daughter Aiden Reano, who is six. “We have to send home money for our children and their maintenance.” The family was already in dire financial burden and added to this was Joylyn’s mounting cost of cancer treatment. However, a story published by this newspaper has changed her life forever.

“I feel so grateful. I cannot believe that Burjeel Hospital Dubai is paying all my bills. I feel so fortunate and grateful. Last week I had no idea where any help would come for me. I felt helpless and stuck. Thanks to my story in Gulf News now I have help. I am grateful to Burjeel Hospital Dubai for this,” said Joylyn.

“Burjeel Hospital Dubai will bear the cost of all my treatment including Radiotherapy and Herceptin (Traztuzumab). God always has a plan to help us in many different ways, we just need to ask and have faith with him,” she said. Joylyn added: “I need to be strong and fight this illness. This is for my children and to my family.”

Hospital support

Dr. Humaid Bin Hamal Al-Shamsi, consultant Internal Medicine, and Medical Oncology director at Burjeel Hospital Dubai said: “Burjeel Oncology is committed to providing access to all cancer patients. Based on our commitment we are reaching out to Joylyn after reading her story in Gulf News. We offered her the support she needs.”

He said : “As cancer care providers we are aware of the challenges that cancer patients face during their treatment course. We also wanted to open our cancer center in Dubai. I am so happy that the first patient to be treated is Joylyn.”

Struggle for insurance coverage

Humaid said: “When we read Joylyn’s story we could relate it to several other cancer patients’ daily struggle with their insurance coverage. Facing cancer and dealing with the treatment side effects should be the only concern for patients. They should not have to deal with an increased financial burden over and above all the emotional issues they go through.”

VPS Healthcare which owns Burjeel Hospital Dubai also extended all support to Joylyn. “We want Joylyn to get the right and best treatment. As responsible healthcare providers, we are committed to providing quality treatment,” added Humaid