The Irish Cancer Society is asking its supporters across Ireland to bring up the issue of cancer on the doorsteps during the election campaign to improve the experiences of patients and save lives.
Breeda O’Connor from Galway will be asking candidates who call to her house about supports for those who have gone through a cancer diagnosis.
"You’re discharged from hospital and you’re left to your own devices with very little guidance on how to move forward," said Breeda, who is a survivor of breast cancer.
The Society is contacting 100,000 of its supporters nationwide about its #CancerMatters campaign and is urging the people of Waterford to make cancer an election issue.
Averil Power, Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society said: "Unfortunately, there isn’t a family in Ireland that hasn’t been affected by cancer. In Carlow, over 260 people are diagnosed with cancer every year.
"Over 200,000 Irish people will get cancer over the five-year term of the next Dáil. It is critical that our newly elected TDs make cancer a priority and ensure every family affected by the disease has the support they need."
The Irish Cancer Society has asked candidates to commit to three actions that could make a big difference to people in Waterford.
Firstly, the Irish Cancer Society wants the quality of life for cancer patients and survivors to improve.
To help achieve this it is asking for a reduction in government charges like the €80 in-patient charge for chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients. A lower Drug Payment Scheme threshold, reduced hospital parking charges and greater availability of medical cards for cancer patients would also help ease the financial burden of cancer.
Secondly, it is asking that the National Cancer Strategy and Sláintecare are fully funded so that cancer services are improved, creating a fairer health system for all.
Lastly, it says that more needs to be done to protect children from the tobacco and alcohol industries which still use clever marketing to make their products attractive to young people.
Any General Election candidate who wants to sign up to the Irish Cancer Society’s campaign can do so at www.cancer.ie/GE2020
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