Cancer patients across the UK have found that they face difficulty when trying to get enough together to pay for their fuel bills. This is especially true during winter when, as you can imagine, the problems become more pronounced.
This information is provided by Macmillan Cancer Support, who surveyed cancer patients throughout the UK on the issue. It’s obviously a problem, as many cancer patients are too unwell to work and need to recuperate from long and draining treatments. Not having access to decent heating not only has an emotional impact but can slow their physical recovery add well.
The director of policy and research at Macmillan, Mike Hobday, gave a statement accompanying the survey: “Our research shows just how dire the financial situation has become for some people living with cancer in the UK. Thousands of cancer patients are falling behind with their energy bills and resorting to turning the heating off, even though it’s vital for their recovery that they keep warm.”
With support from the government not enough to keep up payments, many find themselves taking out loans or putting payments on credit cards, which can lead to a debt spiral.
Hobday goes onto say: “Cancer patients simply cannot afford to meet rising fuel prices at a time when many suffer a loss of income – it is appalling that they are being punished for their condition. It’s high time we put a stop to cancer patients suffering in fuel poverty.”
With energy companies and energy bills already under a lot of scrutiny, this report comes at exactly the right time to make a difference. It may be the case that the energy companies offer to do something about this issue in order to win over public opinion. If not, then both them and the government may find themselves under fire for failing to support the vulnerable.