Scots are being denied vital cancer treatment

Julie Flaws with MP Lindsay Roy
Julie Flaws with MP Lindsay Roy

A DAUGHTER campaigning in memory of her mother for fair cancer treatment in Scotland has blasted revelations that a postcode lottery does exist in the UK.

Julie Flaws, from Methilhill, whose mum Anna died of cancer in July, said the fact Scottish patients were being denied life-saving drugs was an “absolute disgrace.”

Last week, doctors warned MSPs cancer sufferers in Scotland were missing out on cancer drugs because the Scottish Government had chosen “not to spend money” on the most up-to-date treatments.

Disturbingly, Dr Noelle O’Rourke, chair of the consultants’ committee at the Beatson cancer centre in Glasgow, also claimed better-off people were more likely to get treatment than those from poorer backgrounds.

Yet in England, doctors can access a £600m cancer drugs fund to prescribe treatments not routinely available on the NHS.

Julie commented: “Everybody should be fairly treated, regardless of where they live or who they are.

“After all the National Health Service should be exactly that – national.”

Anna Flaws, who waged a prominent crusade for people to gain better access to care, passed away aged 50 following a 19-month battle with oesophageal cancer.

The mental health nurse had responded well to treatment with Herceptin, a drug not available in Scotland on economic grounds.

In May, she had handed over a petition, signed by nearly 3000 people, to the Scottish Government, calling for fairness of cancer treatment north and south of the border.

That campaign is still being fought by her daughter.

Julie said: “My mum worked for the NHS all her days and paid her contributions, believing that, if she needed care some day it would be there for her.

“If the treatment is not available then fair dues –but it is there.”

Glenrothes and Central Fife MP Lindsay Roy (pictured above with Julie) said: “I would commend Julie for her determination in pursuing her mum’s campaign.

“Like her mum, Julie’s campaign is not just for one individual, but all the people in Scotland who are affected by a postcode lottery over access to cancer drugs – drugs which can prolong life and improve the quality of life.

He added: “It was fundamentally wrong that Anna Flaws had to raise over £50,000 herself for her cancer drug treatment.”