THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
JANELLE SAFFIN MP
Member for Page
THE HON CARMEL TEBBUTT MP
New South Wales Minister for Health and Deputy Premier
5 July 2010
Patients and their families on the north coast of New South Wales will gain significantly from improved access to essential cancer services, the Minister for Rural and Regional Health, Warren Snowdon, the New South Wales Minister for Health, Carmel Tebbutt, and the Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, said today at the opening of Lismore Integrated Cancer Care Centre.
The new centre delivers on an Australian Government election commitment, with the Commonwealth providing $15 million, and the NSW Government contributing $12 million.
Originally the previous Federal government provided just $8 million, and the Federal Labor Government recognised the urgent need for cancer services in the region and contributed a further $7 million to fast track the centre, which will form part of the North Coast Cancer Institute.
The Lismore Integrated Cancer Care Centre will include:
- Two linear accelerators for radiation therapy (one initially, with funding provided for a second)
- Two bunkers to house the accelerators
- A treatment area for patients undergoing chemotherapy
- Clinic facilities for patient consultation and examination and associated office and support facilities
It will employ around 30 staff, including a radiation oncologist, radiation therapists, physicists, nurses, allied health workers and administrative and support staff. It will also allow for specialist training for students and junior doctors.
This funding is in addition to the recent commitments made in the region by the Australian Government:
- $6.5 million to provide a second linear accelerator and a Positron Emissions Tomography/Computed Tomography scanner (PET CT used for full body scans) for the Lismore Integrated Cancer Care Centre
- $2.62 million for a 20-unit facility called ‘Our House’, to allow on-site accommodation for 20 patients and their carers and families, adjacent to the new Lismore Integrated Cancer Care Centre
The NSW Government also contributed $3 million towards the cancer centre’s second linear accelerator and the PET CT scanner, and $500,000 towards land purchased for the Our House accommodation facility.
It is of great concern that patients from rural areas are up to three times more likely to die within five years of diagnosis than their counterparts in urban areas.
The new centre announced today will significantly help improve the situation for cancer patients in the north coast of New South Wales.
It will enable people with cancer to have access to the right care at the right time, closer to home and family, irrespective of where they live or their social circumstances.
The new facilities will also take the pressure off metropolitan facilities by reducing the need for many cancer patients on the North Coast to travel to the larger centres for essential treatment.
The Regional Cancer Centres Initiative is part of the Australian Government’s plan to build a world-class cancer care system in Australia that will enable rural and regional Australians to have better access to essential cancer services, deal more effectively with cancer treatment challenges and live longer with a better quality of life.
The Australian Government has an ambitious reform agenda, which includes the commitment to deliver better hospitals and better health outcomes to Australian families, regardless of where they live. Since coming into office it has committed over $2.3 billion for cancer infrastructure, medicines, screening and research.
Alice Plate (Snowdon) 0400 045 999
Alex Walker (Tebbutt) 0401 088 155
Lee Duncan (Saffin) 0448 158 150