Health System Failing Cancer Patients-Presidential Commission

Panel: Health system failing cancer patients

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's health care system is failing cancer patients, who often find themselves battling the system in addition to their disease, a presidential commission contended Monday.

"For people who don't have resources there are great difficulties and many barriers in trying to get through the health care system," Dr. Harold P. Freeman, chairman of the President's Cancer Panel, said in an interview.

Every day 34,000 Americans are diagnosed with some form of cancer and 1,500 die from the disease, the panel said in a report. Yet 44 million Americans lack health insurance and millions more are underinsured and face hardships in paying out-of-pocket costs of cancer care.

In addition, the panel found that restrictions on who is eligible for assistance eliminate many people who need help; others live far from the sources of care and lack transportation and few patients receive full and accurate information about their disease.

12/03/2001; Cable News Network]

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