BY Liz Ferris
Insurance companies claims department have highlighted the fact that a large portion of people who get cancer have no cover against the illness.
Irish Life point out that cancer still accounts for three in every five specified illness claims last year within retail.
Speaking about the cost of living crisis and how it affects cancer patients, Rachel Morrogh, Director of Advocacy with the Irish Cancer Society (ICS)said: “When thinking about cancer, people tend to focus on the treatment options and chances of surviving the disease.
We don’t think about the family faced with the dilemma of having to pay to travel to treatment and on top of it accommodation, so that they can avail of life saving treatment.
“But this is the reality of having cancer in Ireland today and it’s something that the ICS has been asking for Government action on since 2015 and is the central point in our Pre-Budget Submission this year.
“While more people are thankfully surviving cancer, I’m concerned that while there has been progress in some areas, not enough has happened to reduce the disease’s devastating financial impact. Patients and their families are facing a lasting, and often crushing, financial burden,” she emphasised.
“The uncomfortable truth is that financial hardship often goes hand in hand with cancer and can stay long after treatment is finished,” she added.
Ms Morrogh outlines that since tracking this issue seven years ago, they discovered that there were simply too many people with cancer for whom the financial cost of the disease continues to devastate their emotional and mental wellbeing – obviously compounding the psychological impact of having the disease itself.
“Well over 9 in 10 people incurred some costs while going through treatment or attending appointments. And since 2019, the cost of things have only got worse for people. They’ve had to bear the rising cost of energy, the increased price of petrol, escalating rates for hotel rooms…there’s a long list of things. And while Government doesn’t have control over some of these costs, we do want Budget 2023 to be the one where in-patient charges are abolished and free car parking in hospitals is made available – these two measures would ease some of the pressure facing families with cancer who are reading this article today.”
MABS – The Money Advice and Budgeting Service – have 30 years’ experience helping people with budgeting and advice in relation to all kinds of problem debt.
Many of their clients have more than one type of debt or outgoing that is causing them difficulties. They look at each client’s situation as a whole and seek to find solutions that provide the best possible outcome for that client.
They can support you in contacting your creditors or landlord to explain your situation and to look to reach an arrangement affordable during your treatment.
MABS always advises that you look after your health and well-being and that of your dependents first.
Try not to let the stress you may be feeling about your financial commitments overwhelm you. If you are worried that your debt may become a problem, contact MABS today. Your first step is to call our Helpline on 0818 07 2000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or contact us on WhatsApp 086 035 3141. Or you can visit our website www.mabs.ie where you can find information online including money tools and financial health checks.
In two weeks’ time I will go into supports out there designed to help you on your cancer journey.
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