A group of patients want lower electricity bills for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The Spanish Association of Patients with COPD (APEPOC) says people cannot afford to keep life-saving oxygen machines on.
It is estimated that five million people in Spain suffer from COPD and it is the fourth leading cause of death.
“Many people face difficult decisions,” said Nicole Hass, a spokeswoman for APEPOC:
“With the increase in electricity prices they have to decide between eating or breathing,” he told the Reuters news agency.
APEPOC wants the 17 Autonomous Communities to subsidize the electricity bill of all COPD patients who do get free oxygen.
Hass said. “What good is oxygen if we don’t have the electricity to power the machine?”
José María Casais, a retired engineer from Barcelona, says he is forced to plunder his savings every month after his energy bills skyrocketed due to his reliance on an oxygen machine to relieve his COPD.
“It limits everything else and leaves no option for other things,” Casais said. Reuters.
Your oxygen concentrator draws air through a compressor, removing the nitrogen and filtering the oxygen into it.
Depending on how hard Casais has to breathe on any given day, he will be online between 5 and 12 midnight.
Dr. Sergi Pascual from Hospital del Mar in Barcelona said: “COPD is a chronic and irreversible disease and those who suffer from it need to live a useful and fulfilling life and therefore need the necessary funds.”
Kidney failure patients who need high-drain electrical machines are also struggling, according to two groups.