‘HN’ is a 50-year-old Filipino domestic worker who had been working in Singapore for over 25 years. She has worked for and built ties with many families during her career in Singapore, and enjoys writing in her free time. Earlier in June, HN was unfortunately diagnosed with at least Stage 2B cervical cancer, and was hospitalized in Singapore for a few days to undergo further tests.
Nature of Need
HN’s insurance (that employers must purchase by law) covered the cost of her hospitalisation and biopsy costs. However, further cancer treatment in Singapore is not a viable option for her, given the unsubsidised healthcare costs for migrant workers. HN made the decision to return to the Philippines for treatment, where healthcare costs are more affordable. However, despite having a stronger support system in her home country, the unexpected medical expenses are placing a significant burden on her. HN was unable to apply for social services in time, as her doctor advised her to start her treatment as soon as possible (on 17th July, Monday). As such, her medical bills in the Philippines will also be unsubsidised.
We sent HN $800 from our Standing Solidarity Fund (SSF) to cover the down payment, so that she could begin treatment as soon as possible. She needs a further $5,700 to cover the costs of her entire treatment over a course of 6 weeks. This includes radiation, brachytherapy, and chemotherapy. We have known HN for a few years, and she has been very supportive in our mutual aid work. As her first treatment session nears, she shares that she is starting to feel worried; but relieved to be in the loving care of her family and friends, especially her family members who have also recovered from cancer.
In two recent fundraisers, we supported domestic workers (‘MS’ and ‘MN’) who were also battling with cancer. It feels disheartening to witness similar cases time and time again. We wonder how many of these cases could have been mitigated with cancer screening. Who cares for the caregivers? While we continue to strive for fairer healthcare and employment rights, it is crucial to remember that solidarity and compassion should be the foundation of our efforts.
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