Cancer sufferers still left out in the cold - Brady
Sinn Féin MLA and spokesperson on welfare issues, Mickey Brady has said that the Health Minister, Edwin Poots, has so far failed to address the pressing issue of winter fuel payments for cancer sufferers after Mr Brady raised this pressing issue with him as far back as June of this year.
Speaking today Mr Brady said:
“The issue of cancer sufferers and the hardship they face during harsh weather is one that remains to be addressed.
“Many of those suffering from cancer and receiving treatment do not qualify for Winter Fuel payments even though the reality for many of those undergoing treatment is one of facing financial hardship and having to limit their expenditure on heating bills.
“This can be an extremely detrimental choice for their health but one many are forced to make.
“There are some 600 cancer patients in most need of such support. To provide payment to these sufferers would cost only £120,000 to ease the burden there are faced with significantly. It is Sinn Féin's view that this could be sourced from the Social Protection Fund which is designed to help vulnerable people.
“I was in correspondence with the Health Minister as early as June of this year, in order to have adequate time to address this issue before the cold weather came.However to date there has been no movement in tackling this issue.
“As the cold weather has finally hit this week, with temperatures plunging, there needs to be an urgent decision from the Health department. Cancer sufferers can no longer be left out in the cold.”