Free GP visits urged as terminally-ill breast cancer patients struggle financially

August 27, 2019

Free GP visits urged as terminally-ill breast cancer patients struggle financially

Adele Gautier hopes that GP visits becoming free will ease stress for patients. Photo: Candice Jones

Terminally-ill breast cancer patients are restricting their GP visits due to financial strain but a new petition hopes to make them free.

The Breast Cancer Foundation petition currently in parliament wants all terminally ill breast cancer patients receive free GP visits, vital for managing symptoms and treatment side effects.

Natalie Parsons who has stage 4 breast cancer said she would go to her GP more often if the costs were reduced.

“It would mean a lot [to have this bill passed] especially since I am not able to work, money is tight. I would save on average $100 a month.”

Parsons goes to her GP on average twice a month but that doesn’t include paying for the late-night and weekend visits to urgent care clinics.

“I would love to see GP visits free for all cancer patients, I would go to the GP more if it was free.”

Adele Gautier of Breast Cancer Foundation said that it’s a terrible situation to be in when you are feeling awful from side effects and symptoms of the disease and you can’t even afford to go to the GP.

“They are going to have this disease until they die, the symptoms and effects never stop and often they are too sick to work so they just get into a worse and worse financial situation and eventually we found that people would end up just not going to the GP because it becomes too expensive,” said Gautier, BCF research and communications manager.

“Make it simple across the board, make it free so if you have terminally ill breast cancer they don’t even have to think about it. This initiative wouldn’t cost a lot of money and would have an immediate benefit.”

The petition can be found here.

Related Stories

City painted green and yellow by Auckland landmarks

City painted green and yellow by Auckland landmarks

Rachel Sadler August 29, 2019

Keen rat-trappers overwhelm pest-control scheme

Keen rat-trappers overwhelm pest-control scheme

Nick Forrester August 28, 2019

Time to move beyond colonisers' version of NZ history

Time to move beyond colonisers' version of NZ history

Hayley Twort September 10, 2019

Ihumātao occupation powered by social media

Ihumātao occupation powered by social media

Ellen Sinclair September 10, 2019

Ihumātao protector wants to 'make right' what her ancestors did

Ihumātao protector wants to 'make right' what her ancestors did

Isabella Durant September 10, 2019