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Irish Cancer Society calls on Government to ease financial burden on patients

There are calls for the Government to ease the financial burden experienced by cancer patients and their families.

In its pre-budget statement, the Irish Cancer Society says cancer patients and their families face €1,200 in monthly fees as a result of their diagnosis and treatment.

Inpatient fees of €80 a day, prescription charges, and the cost of parking at hospitals are adding another burden to families already under pressure, according to the Irish Cancer Society who are calling on the Government to implement measures to ease this burden.

“Many families suffer a big drop in income when someone gets cancer," Irish Cancer Society Chief Executive Averil Power said.

"At the same time, they have to pay for everything from chemotherapy appointments to anti-nausea medication and hospital parking charges.

"With extra costs of up to €1,200 a month, they find themselves under siege financially while also trying to manage the physical and psychological burden of having cancer.”

The charity is also for the following to be included in forthcoming Budget:

  • The removal of inpatient charges, which currently cost €80 per visit up to a maximum of €800 a year
  • A reduction in the Drugs Payment Scheme threshold from €124 a month to €100 for families and €72 for single people
  • The removal of the prescription charge for medical card holders (currently €2 per item up to a maximum of €20)
  • Reduced hospital parking charges for frequent visitors

According to Ms Power recent research suggested support for these measures.

“In a survey recently carried out by Core Research, almost three in four people supported the removal of inpatient charges while six in 10 said the drug payment scheme threshold should be reduced."