• August 27, 2019
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.