THE FEDERAL Government is providing a $45.5 million investment to expand cancer treatment services in 10 regional locations including the Macleay and Nambucca valleys.
Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the funding allocated by the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, would improve access to radiation therapy for hundreds of cancer patients living in the Kempsey and Nambucca districts.
"Our Government is addressing the very real difficulty patients in regional and rural communities face in accessing radiation therapy - therapy that could change their lives," Mr Conaghan said.
"Currently cancer patients in these areas have to travel to Coffs Harbour or Port Macquarie to obtain their radiation therapy, which can be exhausting and expensive for patients and their family or carers.
"I encourage private or public local medical providers to consider how they could form consortia to apply for the funding and boost their practices while providing the new or expanded cancer treatment services to our residents."
Radiation therapy is an important treatment that can open up options for people's cancer treatment mix. It is a proven, life-saving technique used in 48 per cent of successful cancer treatments.
It can help patients with certain types of cancer avoid expensive and intrusive surgery, saving them thousands of dollars and avoiding long recoveries.
The 10 locations of the new radiation cancer treatment centres were announced in 2019 and include:
NSW: Nambucca, Kempsey, Bega/Eurobodalla, Grafton and Clarence Valley, Taree, Armidale and Griffith.
Vic: East Gippsland
SA: Mt Gambier and Limestone Coast.
Funding for this initiative comes from the Morrison-McCormack Government's Health Infrastructure Program, an important part of its long term health reform agenda.
The open competitive grants process for the $45.5 million, which will be provided over five years from 2020-21, opened this week and will close on October 7.
Funding for the Mid North Coast is dependent on either public or private providers making an application and where they express interest in delivering services.
Full details can be found on GrantConnect at https://www.grants.gov.au/?event=public.GO.show&GOUUID=854AA0E3-E90B-A43E-4BB59F0E38A91134