07 December 2011

On chemotherapy? Get back to work you scrounger...

I first saw an indication of this a few days ago. It was on the McMillan site at the weekend and in the Guardian today

If you take a look at Debbretts you will find an entry for Professor Malcolm Harrington. Born in 1942, it is clear that he is a long career in Occuptional Health. Because of this I would have thought much, much better from someone in this field.

For he is about to to submit a report to government that proposes to force cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to take medical tests and face "back to work" interviews to prove they are ill.

At present, patients who are unable to work because of cancer and the side-effects of treatments are allowed to claim the highest rate of employment support allowance (ESA), worth up to £100 a week. More than 9,000 cancer patients were placed automatically on the welfare payment from October 2008 to June 2010.

However, Harringon  says this "automatic entitlement" has encouraged dependency on benefits, "encouraging wrong behaviours from employers and stigmatising cancer as something that can lead to unemployment or worklessness".

Instead, cancer patients on chemotherapy in hospitals will now have to prove that they are too sick to work, and take part in the controversial work capability assessment to determine whether someone is eligible for benefits. If cancer patients are found able to return to employment they may also be required to participate in work-related practice job interviews, as a condition of receiving their benefit.

In an email, Harrington said: "Macmillan provided me with compelling evidence that different cancer treatments can have an equally – and varied – debilitating effect on individuals. However, I agree with the government that forcing people to a life on benefits when they want to work is wrong."

The government said that patients would be allowed to prove they were too ill to work with "documentation", and would not always be asked to undergo a complete assessment.

Oh come on it's clear tha tthe Tories want to cut the welfare bill and do not give a damn if that means screwing some of the most vulnerable in the process. I can'tbelieve that Harrington with his long experience of occupational health would even consider something as ludicorus as that.

Yes I do realise that not all chemos are the same but I can't see many people undergoing chemotherapy being productive workers  while undergoing such treatment.

Oh yes I get it. The Tories want to stop benefits and get them to take jobs as wig testers. What next I wonder.....


CherryPie said...

I have seen the effects of Chemotherapy. People undergoing this treatment are not really fit to attend work.

jams o donnell said...

Me too Cherie, no way is this the thinking of anything but a sick mind.

Kay Dennison said...

This guy has obviously been talking to members of our Republican party.
I never thought I'd wish chemo on anyone but I'll make an exception -- preferably the kind that affects his cojones. You know that I'm not usually nasty but this really made me angry.

susan said...

That's utterly despicable.

jams o donnell said...

At the very least Kay!

despicable doesn't begin to describe this Susan

Liz said...

My friend who was disabled by septicaemia because the doctor didn't take out his appendix in time was called for a medical to prove his disability - on the 8th floor of a building and had to confirm he'd be able to walk down the stairs if there was a fire alarm.

They will try anything to catch out all these fraudsters who pretend to be sick just so they can get all these too generous benefits.

jams o donnell said...

Bloody well right, Septicaemia? just an excuse for a holiday at the taxpayer's expense.

Jesus, Liz what sort of scum would ask your friend for a bloody medical when he has a life threatening condition