Austerity for cancer patients

Look what they’re doing in England to cover the bankers’ gambling debts:

Thousands of seriously ill cancer patients will be forced to take medical tests and face “back to work” interviews, despite assurances from ministers that they would not make it harder for the sick to get welfare, charities have warned.

Buried in a report to ministers by Prof Malcolm Harrington, the government adviser on testing welfare recipients, are proposals to force cancer patients who are undergoing intravenous chemotherapy to prove they are too ill to work.

At present, patients who are unable to work because of cancer and the side-effects of treatments are allowed to claim the highest rate of employment support allowance (ESA), worth up to £100 a week. More than 9,000 cancer patients were placed automatically on the welfare payment from October 2008 to June 2010. However, the expert report says this “automatic entitlement” has encouraged dependency on benefits, “encouraging wrong behaviours from employers and stigmatising cancer as something that can lead to unemployment or worklessness”.

Instead, cancer patients on chemotherapy in hospitals will now have to prove that they are too sick to work, and take part in the controversial work capability assessment to determine whether someone is eligible for benefits. If cancer patients are found able to return to employment they may also be required to participate in work-related practice job interviews, as a condition of receiving their benefit.

Such assessments have been attacked by charities amid mounting evidence that people with serious illnesses are being judged fit for work when they are not.


4 thoughts on “Austerity for cancer patients

  1. Go to the interview and make sure to projectile vomit on as much of the office area as possible.

  2. The cancer patients I know (knew) were anxious to get back to work and didn’t want to take any more time than they had to. If a person’s too sick to work, it becomes pretty obvious once they’re on the job. Soooo, I’m not sure this policy is going to be in effect for too long. They should be encouraged to get back to work but not forced to do it.

  3. “stigmatising cancer as something that can lead to unemployment or worklessness”.
    I wasn’t aware that cancer had its own P.R. firm.
    Yes, god forbid that those slackers should take a day off the factory floor.
    I have a friend who was actually able to take off the time for cancer treatments. After watching so many people struggle their anemic wasted “okay I can stand without throwing up” asses back to work so they wouldn’t lose their job, I was stunned.

  4. great comment from the article but probably shouldn’t be giving them any ideas: ‘Next week, quadriplegics become human doorstops in drive to get people back to work and lower the deficit’.

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