Spiralling cost of care hitting MS patients hard

19 September 2018 08:05

MS patients face spiralling healthcare costs

MS patients face spiralling healthcare costs

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are shelling out tens of thousands of pounds for care - and many are unable to cover the costs, a leading charity has warned.

Following a recent study, the MS Society estimates MS patients will have to pay out over £110,000 to cover more than 25 years of care.

And these high costs are forcing patients to choose between getting the care that they need and paying for everyday essentials, it said.

Lacking support

In a small poll of 215 patients living with MS, the study found that almost one in five (19%) say they cannot afford the support they require, the charity said.

Half said they had to rely on family and friends more, as a result of lacking support, and 44% said they only get some or none of the care they need.

The charity analysed care costs paid by people with the condition who self-fund their care, or those who contribute towards their care costs, and found that each year people are, on average, forking out more £4,400.

Over the course of 25 years this equates to more than £110,000.

The charity has called on the Government to address the issue through investment in the social care system and its forthcoming Green Paper on social care.

Painful and exhausting

Genevieve Edwards, director of external affairs at the MS Society, said: "MS is often painful and exhausting and many people rely on care to help them manage this unpredictable condition.

"Faced with such unaffordable care fees, people with MS are being forced to choose between getting care and paying for other everyday essentials.

"The question of how social care should be funded has been left unanswered for too long, leaving people with MS paying the price for a system in crisis.

"We're urging the Chancellor to give social care the immediate investment it needs in this upcoming Budget so people can get the care they need now."

MS is a condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, such as problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance, and affects about 100,000 people in Britain.

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