Terry Pratchett criticises government
Friday 09 March 2012
Author Sir Terry Pratchett claims that people with dementia are being penalised because government ministers regard the illness as just a social care problem.
"We are made to feel like malingerers", said Pratchett, himself diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007. "Alzheimer’s patients are discriminated against by being seen as needing social care", he continued. "What they’ve got is a problem rather than a disease." The condition is seen as a "nuisance thing" whereas "a patient with cancer is a human being".
The author also said it was unfair that many families were paying for dementia care themselves, while treatment for other conditions is covered by the NHS. Currently, UK residents with assets worth more than EUR 28,000 - including their house - have to pay their own dementia care bills. These can reach EUR 120,000 a year for patients in a nursing home.
Mr Pratchett argues that all patients pay for the NHS through their taxes, so they should all be treated the same.