Access to Surgical Treatment for Hepatopancreaticobiliary Cancer in the Philippines

Luis Miguel B. Co, Ateneo de Manila University
F. Lorenzo Martin A. Puno, Ateneo de Manila University
Erika P. Ong, University of the Philippines College of Medicine
Frances Dominique V. Ho, University of the Philippines College of Medicine
Michelle Ann B. Eala, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Edward Christopher Dee, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Ethan Angelo S. Maslog, University of the Philippines College of Medicine
Ryan T. Barroso, Bago Bantay
T. Peter Kingham, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Samuel D. Ang, Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center
Christian Daniel U. Ang, University of Santo Tomas Hospital


Hepatopancreaticobiliary cancers are among the most diagnosed cancers in the world. However, although high-income countries have the highest incidence rates, low- and middle-income countries have the highest mortality rates. In this article, we describe the geographic distribution of board-certified hepatopancreaticobiliary surgeons who provide surgical management for patients with these diseases in the Philippines. We draw attention to the geographic disparities in the distribution of these surgeons and the other factors that contribute to the lack of access. Lastly, we suggest ways forward.