Did you know?
According to Canadian Cancer Statistics, almost 200,000 new cases of cancer and 78,000 cancer-related deaths occur in Canada each year, about 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetimes, and 1 in 4 will die of the disease.
However, 63% of Canadians will survive at least 5 years after their diagnosis.
Did you also know...
It is too often the case that many patients or family caregivers have to stop working during treatment or while caring for a loved one.
Nearly 70% of employed caregivers report a negative impact on their work while 41% of family caregivers use their personal savings to survive.
For those who are able to work, 1 in 5 Canadians have no private supplemental health insurance.
For 1 in 12 Canadian families, drug costs amount to more than 3% of their net household income, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. More than half of Canadians say they would have to dip into their savings or take out a loan to pay for drugs if they had cancer.
Families of children with cancer often incur much higher costs in the first 3 months following a child's diagnosis, and either one or both parents have to take significant time off work or leave their job completely. Imagine if they were the only parent.
So, what about government-funded programs? Employment Insurance will pay sick leave to a max of $485 a week, but only for 15 weeks, and that's only if you qualify. Those who are seasonal employees or self-employed Canadians are often ineligible, and if you require a second round of treatment, it is unlikely that you have worked enough hours to qualify again.
Canada Pension Plan provides disability coverage, however cancer is often not enough to receive the benefit unless the patient is considered to be terminally ill. One will also not qualify if they intend to return to work or have not contributed to the plan for at least 4 years.
Patients or family members are often left paying out of pocket for life-saving treatment and medication to ease side effects, with potentially limited to no income, and no supplemental health insurance. So who is paying for rising parking costs, which can be up to $28 a day in some provinces, fuel costs associated with getting to and from treatment, food for dinner, necessary home modifications and support, rent, hydro, mortgage payments and so on and so on? Either these expenses are not being covered or some are covered at the expense of others. There are far too many Canadians fighting to stay alive, while losing everything they've worked for in the meantime.