After Monika Wikstrom spoke out about spending too much on food, there was a lot of reaction, including political ones.
The reason the 56-year-old eats more than others is because his intestines are too narrow after multiple surgeries.
Bård Hoksrud (Frp) is second vice-chairman of the Health and Care Committee.
He believes that the minister should intervene quickly and ensure that special cases receive support for food as medicine.
– I hope it is possible to get a regulatory change. The change allowed her to get the extra food that health experts say she needs.
If the law needs to be changed, we will take the matter to the Storting. Hogsrud says this is not true for many in Norway, but for a few.
Hogsrud says he has already raised the issue with Storting.
– If it had been medicine, there would have been no question. Then she had it. But because it was food she needed, she didn’t get that help. And she’s at risk of being thrown out on the street because she can’t pay for all the food.
This is completely disrespectful, says Hogsrud.
I hope help comes soon
Marian Hussain, Vice President of SV, commented that Monica needs help now and cannot wait for regulatory and legislative changes.
– The employee is entitled to receive a definitive and individual assessment from NAV based on the employee’s professional judgement.
Hussain believes that social services should be based on solidarity and generosity.
– Society must cover additional costs incurred by Monica’s illness. She should live as dignified a life as possible. I expect NAV to take that responsibility, she tells NRK.
Provides basic allowance for additional expenses
NRK has sent questions to two ministers on the issues in the case.
In the Ministry of Health and Care, they indicate that questions should be directed to the Ministry of Labor and Inclusion. This is because they are responsible for the provisions of the National Insurance Act and Basic Allowance.
We have the following response from Secretary of State Thomas Norwall (Ap) from the Ministry of Labor and Inclusion.
– I don’t want to comment on individual cases, but people who have necessary additional expenses due to permanent illness can get basic allowance.
It’s a tax-free benefit that can be given to people who have an expensive diet because of, among other things, the special diet required, Norvoll explains.
People react differently to food
The Gastrointestinal Society believes that it is obvious that Monika Wikstrom should seek financial assistance to cover up her diet.
– Secretary-General Mats Johansson says his treatment is the same as other people taking medicine for other diseases.
He says the association knows that many people with gastrointestinal disease improve by making changes to their diet.
– In 2019, we conducted a survey in which 82 percent of people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis experienced improvement by changing their diet. We know that many people like Monica rely on a raw food-based diet.
– Any suggestions for changing the regulations?
– Johansen believes that if a medical specialist recommends a certain diet after examining the diet with the patient, this should be sufficient documentation to obtain support from the state if this creates additional costs.
Today, diets are generally recognized and scientifically documented. The problem is that diets aren’t straightforward, and people react differently to food, he adds.
falls between two chairs
Per Henning Johansson, head of Nav in Tonsberg, says he understands that Monika Wikström is in a difficult situation and wants more help from them.
– Nav Tønsberg considers that the benefits he receives from both National Insurance and Social Services are subject to applicable law and regulations. Nav is not responsible for covering expenses beyond our limits in case of special medical needs, he says.
According to Johannesen, Wikström receives financial social assistance to meet his living and housing needs, and benefits from national insurance to cover his additional health-related costs.
In addition, he receives additional social assistance based on a doctor’s certificate, which includes an additional food budget due to his health condition.
Moving out in the car
Wikstrom still feels that she ends up between two chairs in the face of the public.
He believes that he should receive medical care through food as medicine and not be forced to continue applying for social assistance.
– Social assistance means I have no other income, so the quality of life is low, he says.
She fears it will have consequences for her passion for dogs, which, among other things, she was on the national team for.
– I’d rather go by car than give the dogs away. They kept me going my whole life and through the tough times after the surgery. He says that unfortunately I may have to leave this month.
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