Cancer Centre Start a Reward for Community Effort
The hard work and commitment of the people of Ballarat and region has been rewarded with the official start of construction on the new $56.5 million Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre.
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14 February 2011
The hard work and commitment of the people of Ballarat and region has been rewarded with the official start of construction on the new $56.5 million Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, the Member for Ballarat and Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, said today.
After turning the first sod on the project, Ms King said people across the Ballarat region and western Victoria would soon have access to world-class cancer treatment as a result of the project.
The Federal Government is contributing $42 million to the centre, with the Victorian Government supporting the development with a further $14.5 million.
“This Ballarat Regional Cancer Centre represents a joint effort from the entire region,” Ms King said.
“The Ballarat community, Ballarat Health Services, Austin Health, and St John of God Ballarat, all worked hard with the State government to submit an extremely strong application for funding.
“This project has also received strong support from the former state Member for Ballarat West, Karen Overington, whom I commend for her efforts. And I know her successor, Sharon Knight, is keen to see this project come to fruition.
“But most importantly I would like to recognise the strong contribution that the people of the Ballarat and surrounding regions have played in this project.
“The Ballarat Cancer Centre is here because the community knew the importance of its delivery, and the Federal Government knew the importance of investing in cancer infrastructure projects across regional Australia.”
Ms King said it was of particular concern that for the 30 per cent of Australians living in regional areas, the cancer outcomes are worse than for those in major cities.
“With some cancers, patients from rural and remote areas are up to three times more likely to die within five years of diagnosis than their urban counterparts.”
Ms King said the Australian Government had provided $1.3 billion over six years in Health and Hospitals Funding in the 2009-10 Federal Budget for national cancer infrastructure projects.
“Of that amount, we committed $560 million to build a national network of best practice regional cancer centres and associated accommodation facilities to help close the gap in outcomes for cancer patients in rural and regional Australia,” she said.
The new, regional integrated cancer centre being built here at the Ballarat Base Hospital will include two new linear accelerators, four radiation oncology bunkers, four additional chemotherapy chairs and a computed tomography (CT) scanner.
“People from the region will have improved access to the right care at the right time, as close as possible to home and family.” Ms King said.
As part of its commitment to building a world-class cancer care system the Government is also providing $526 million for integrated cancer centres in Sydney and Melbourne, which will provide state of the art cancer treatment combined with cutting edge research. They will work closely with the regional cancer centre network to ensure appropriate referral for regional patients.
A further $70 million has been provided to expand the Kinghorn Cancer Centre (formerly known as Garvan St Vincent’s Cancer Centre) in Sydney and $120 million to provide BreastScreen Australia with state of the art digital mammography equipment.
The 2009-10 Budget the Government also provided more than $600 million for cancer care, research and medicines, driving the progress of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.
For more information, please contact the Parliamentary Secretary's Office on (02) 6277 4230
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