Tuesday, 20 January 2009

David Williams urges cancer patients to apply for free prescriptions

David Williams, Labour’s prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, urges all those undergoing cancer treatment to apply for free prescriptions.

From today people being treated for cancer can apply for their medical exemption certificate, which means that they will eligible for free prescriptions from 1st April.

The new scheme, announced by the Prime Minister in September last year, extends exemption from NHS prescription charges for everyone undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer, or the effects of cancer treatment.

Patients can collect an application form from their GP surgery or oncology clinics. The form must be countersigned by their GP, hospital doctor or service doctor.

This new scheme gives people living with cancer and related conditions one less worry at such a difficult time.

David Williams said, “Labour's investment in and reform of the NHS has delivered real improvements in cancer care. Our tough targets have driven waiting lists down and standards up. Labour is investing more than ever before in cancer services.

“The earlier a cancer is detected, the better the chance of curing it. Labour is expanding the NHS Breast Screening Programme to help detect breast cancer earlier. The Programme now accounts for a third of all breast cancers detected.

“Under Labour cancer death rates are down by nearly 20%, saving nearly 9,000 lives in 2007 alone. Almost all people with suspected cancer are seen by a specialist within two weeks – in 1997, less than two-thirds were seen this quickly. Almost everyone is treated within a month of diagnosis.

“The Conservatives say they would scrap Labour’s tough targets and patient guarantees. That means Labour’s guarantee that if you are suspected of having cancer, you will be seen by a specialist within two weeks, and Labour’s guarantee that if you are diagnosed with cancer you will start treatment within one month.

“Only Labour will deliver continued improvements in treating cancer.”

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