THE lack of adequate HSE funding of cancer support service Cork Arc, which has a house in Bantry, has been criticised by Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns.
The service receives €45,000 annually from the HSE, which is 5% of its overall income, the remainder of which is fundraised, according to the TD.
‘This is an invaluable service that makes an immeasurable difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families during and after treatment. I am strongly supporting their call for an increase in funding to ensure its services can expand and continue to meet the ever-increasing demand,’ said Deputy Cairns.
‘I recently visited Cork Arc house in Bantry which provides an incredible range of support and care for people diagnosed with cancer and their families in West Cork. In 2021, Cork ARC had more than 1,500 active users, up from 1,200 in 2020, and it provided more than 10,000 services,’ she added.
The Social Democrats put down a motion in the Dáil recently on the real cost of cancer.
‘The Irish Cancer Society estimates the average cost to a person diagnosed with cancer is €756, a month but can be over €1,000 in some cases. At the same time, people are faced with a loss in income of more than €1,500 a month on average. The Minister and the HSE know all of this. The inadequacy of the response to the lived reality of cancer patients and survivors is truly staggering,’ added Deputy Cairns.
‘The Social Democrats are tired of waiting for the government to act on this issue. This is why we put down a motion in the Dáil calling for the €80 inpatient charge to be abolished for cancer patients; for debt collection agencies to no longer be used by public hospitals and for the commitment in the programme for government, to introduce caps on parking charges, to be immediately introduced.
‘There is not a person in Ireland who is not affected by cancer. There is not a person in Ireland who opposes reducing the cost of care, so why would the Government do so?’