A public accounts committee report says that many terminally ill cancer patients in the UK are missing out on cash benefits that could help them tide over financial difficulties related to their treatment costs. The repots says that more than three quarters of cancer patients are not aware of the benefits that they are entitled to.
This means that they are missing out on £200 million each year. "Terminally ill patients are entitled to financial support or some financial support, which I, myself, was not aware of, but apparently three quarters of them are not told about it either,
so this is quite clearly a very serious situation," said Edward Leigh, chairman of the Public accounts committee. "These people who are dying, they've got to be told that if they are in financial difficulties they needn't worry, because there is financial help available." Many charities are outraged at this situation and are calling on the government to rectify it, "Nobody has picked up the ball and taken responsibility for it and somebody must," said a spokesman for Macmillan Cancer Relief. The Commons spending watchdog also said that the money could go towards meeting the funeral expenses that burden the families. "I hope that through legislation - the Health Bill before Parliament now - we get a measure which ensures that where terminally ill patients are known to the health service," said Conservative health spokesman Andrew Lansley.