Cancer Costs Worry Canadians

TORONTO, Sept. 30 (UPI) — Many Canadians say a diagnosis of cancer would worry them as much for its financial consequences as its health consequences, a poll indicates.

The poll by the Canadian Cancer Society shows only a third of citizens believe the country’s healthcare system would provide affordable treatment if they were cancer-stricken, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported Thursday.

Rising drug costs and the inconsistent coverage afforded by drug plans around the country justifies that worry, a society official says.

“It is not acceptable that cancer patients should worry about how they are going to pay for the drugs they need,” Aaron Levo, assistant director of public issues at the CCS, said.

Canada’s universal access to medically necessary healthcare is being undermined as a growing number of patients have to pay for essential cancer drugs out-of-pocket, Levo said.

Further problems are caused by significant disparities in drug coverage between provinces, he said.

“The society is alarmed and frustrated that the federal government seems to be ignoring this critical health issue for Canadians,” Levo said.

“Canadians clearly support establishing a national program to help them pay for cancer drugs but, unfortunately, they are losing confidence in Canada’s healthcare system to fix it,” he said.

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