Thousands back petition to scrap A&E cancer care charges in Guernsey

Guernsey's PEH.
A petition calling for the charges to be scrapped again was signed more than 3,000 times in less than two days. Credit: ITV Channel

A petition calling for a decision to introduce charges for out-of-hours cancer care in A&E to be reversed has been signed more than 3,000 times in two days.

It was launched on Tuesday after Guernsey's Health & Social Care Committee confirmed patients are now being charged for out-of-hours cancer care at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital's emergency department.

The woman behind the petition, Nikita Le Prevost, lost her mother to cancer three years ago and says she has seen the importance of receiving out-of-hours treatment at A&E:

"This is absolutely disgraceful to put more worry onto patients who will now have a financial pressure to afford essential medical treatment when it could be needed most. "Seriously ill people do not deserve any more worry or pressure inflicted upon them on top of what they are going through"

She is now calling for Deputies to re-think the decision to introduce fees when the specialist Bulstrode Oncology Unit is closed.

The charges were introduced in May, but the department only publicly confirmed them this week.

Guernsey's Health & Social Care Committee says the decision was made "to ensure the charging schedules were fair and equitable" for all patients:

"The amendments to the charging schedules made were submitted and fully supported, agreed and ratified by HSC’s Corporate Management Team and the Committee for Health & Social Care prior to their implementation in May of this year."

The decision is being criticised by Guernsey Cancer Alliance and the community group Health Equality for All.