Government Support for Cancer Care

The Australian Government is making significant improvements to ensure cancer patients are able to access quality chemotherapy treatment, when and where they need it.

Page last updated: 20 February 2014

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20 February 2014

The Australian Government is making significant improvements to ensure cancer patients are able to access quality chemotherapy treatment, when and where they need it.

Opening the Icon Cancer Care day hospital in Townsville today, the Minister for Health Peter Dutton strongly reaffirmed the Australian Government’s ongoing support for the 150,000 Australians who receive essential chemotherapy treatment each year.

Icon Cancer Care is a private provider of cancer care with a network of more than 70 doctors focused on cancer and haematological care.

It is the sixth Icon Cancer Care day hospital specialising in cancer care with centres also in Adelaide, Chermside, South Brisbane, Southport and Wesley Hospital.

Minister Dutton underlined the importance of linking private and public services so that patients get the best care possible.

“To ensure optimal, best practice cancer care, both private and public services need to work as a collaborative network – locally and nationally – to provide multidisciplinary care for patients,” Mr Dutton said.

“Links between services ensure that treatment is given in the most appropriate location, depending on the type and complexity of the cancer.”

The Minister said the Government considered it essential to support continued provision of chemotherapy services in Australia.

The Government has given certainty to patients by providing over $82 million in funding to support the supply of chemotherapy medicines by hospitals and pharmacies up to 30 June 2015. This funding will help hospitals and pharmacies deliver essential chemotherapy medicine infusions for people undergoing cancer treatment.

Pharmacies dispensing chemotherapy medicines will receive an additional $60 per infusion, ensuring these vital services are maintained.

As well, the Government will improve patient safety and care by removing unnecessary red tape for clinicians prescribing, processing and claiming for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines.

These changes will enable clinicians to spend more time with their patients and less time completing duplicate paper work.

Media Contact: John Wiseman – 0401 776 108 or the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220

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