I attended a rally yesterday in support of a woman I'd heard about from WendyD and last week through Facebook - Beth Margetson. Beth lives in Porthcawl, South Wales. She has breast cancer with metastases all over her body. We have no Cancer Drugs Fund in Wales and so Beth's oncologist had to apply for a drug, Afinitor, from her local health board. Her health board is the Aneurin Bevan which has so recently let Chris (Darragh) down. Beth's application was turned down as 'it was not exceptional'. Afinitor would have been available to Beth via the Cancer Drugs Fund had she lived in England.
I sought Beth out at the rally and told her my solution to the injustice going on in Wales. Get a primary address in England and live as a visitor in Wales. I met dozens of women with cancer at the rally all facing the same desperate situation as Beth.
Jean (Yogin01UK) and I appear on BBC Wales on Wednesday in The Wales Report at 10:30 p.m. to complain about the drugs postcode lottery in Wales. Jean's health board, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, funds Avastin, my former health board, Cardiff and the Vale, has never funded Avastin. Chris's (Darragh) health board, Aneurin Bevan, has sometimes funded Avastin. There are no criteria for decisions that are affecting the length and quality of people's lives in Wales. They are made behind closed doors and the rationale for refusal is rarely given.
I was told by the ITV reporter yesterday that it is known that people with cancer are already changing their primary address from Wales to England in search of better treatment. Nobody has 'gone public' before. I hope to raise awareness of what's going on and I hope David Cameron starts to worry about the health exodus from Wales and pressures the Government here to address the poor 5-year cancer survival rates. Wales has the worse 5-year survival rates in the UK.
This situation affects everyone in the UK because if people move from Wales to England to access the National Cancer Drugs Fund there is less to go round for the people for whom it was intended. Let's start talking about it and looking for a resolution.
This post is open to Everyone in the hope that people who can do something about it, read it, and talk about it, even if it's just to complain to their MPs in England that the National Cancer Drugs Fund is being cunningly commandeered.
with love xxx Annie