The large and growing number of cancer survivors in Australia is likely to mean that many Australians experience the costs and financial consequences of cancer for themselves, a family member or friend.1 Therefore, it is important to understand the perspectives of Australian patients and carers regarding the magnitude and impact of these costs; along with views about current forms of financial support for people affected by cancer.
What the ‘patient’ pays for cancer care and how much it varies
Although healthcare in Australia is largely publicly funded, there are out-of-pocket costs associated with diagnosis, treatment and survival in the public system. A moderate proportion of cancer care occurs in the private system (either self-funded or under insurance),2 where out-of-pocket costs can be substantially higher than in the public system. Older Australians with cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes or depression are more likely than those without chronic illness to report high out-of-pocket health costs, and those with cancer or diabetes were more likely than others to spend more than 10% of household income on out-of-pocket costs.3
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