15 Mar 2012

UK Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month in the UK.  Their OvCa patient treatment problems are very similar to ours on this side of the pond.  They struggle with drug shortages, entry into clinical trials and much like the US, a two-tiered health system.  They have universal health care, but also have a fast-track elite system for those with private medical insurance.
The care seems to differ from one "country" to another within the UK.  Scotland's system differs from Wales and Wales from Northern Ireland and England.  My parents-in-law live in Scotland.  In that part of the world, they try in every way to keep people with illnesses in their own homes rather than institutionalising them.  As an example, my mother-in-law now requires constant oxygen and nebulisers, my father-in-law has gained the status of "care-giver" and is entitled to an additional stipend because of it!

Initial ovarian cancer treatment follows international protocols with surgery and chemo followup but the UK system is increasingly reluctant to offer novel treatments, adjunctive care and homoeopathy - all budget related no doubt.  We've recently read of "sisters" who are going to other countries within the EU to try to get the latest surgical techniques - HIVAC - heated chemo - and integrative care.  Thank heavens for international forums like http://www.inspire.com/ where women from all over the world can share treatment options, regimes and where to find them.
Last month, I read a post from a girl in England who was having great difficulties getting her mother's ovca case dealt with.  Through a previous contact, I was able to connect her with another "sister" who lives within walking distance of the poster's place of work.  Such a small world.  The two girls are now hot on the trail of seeing that the mother gets proper care.

There should be no quality of care issues ever, anywhere - as it is said, so you treat the least of your people is how you shall be judged.

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