We all know how difficult a cancer diagnosis can be for a person and their family. But for people living in developing nations, or who are living in poverty in developed nations like Canada, cancer is particularly devastating.
Even cancers that are medically treatable can be a death sentence for people who can’t afford the treatment, or who live in regions that haven’t invested in tools such as radiotherapy.
So on Feb. 4, World Cancer Day, OPSEU joins with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to call on governments around the world to ensure fair and equal access to cancer treatment.
The UICC says that 70 per cent of cancer deaths occur in developing nations. It also notes that Indigenous, immigrant, refugee, rural, and lower socioeconomic populations suffer acute inequality when it comes to cancer care.
The UICC says an $11-billion investment in prevention strategies in low- to middle-income countries would save $100 billion in cancer treatment costs.
It shouldn’t matter how much you’ve got in the bank or how well connected your family is, you deserve the best treatment available.
The best way to provide excellent treatment to all is through universal public health care that is properly staffed and funded. Cuts and privatization only broaden the cancer gap, which costs us all more in the long run.
An investment in universal cancer care has a huge pay-off, It’s the right thing to do, and it’s also the financially smart thing to do.
President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida