Work has restarted on a new radiation therapy cancer centre at Mildura Health Private Hospital, which is expected to open by March next year, with the Morrison Joyce Government funding the radiotherapy equipment and providing Medicare rebates for the radiotherapy services.
Federal Member for Mallee, Dr Anne Webster and Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie today toured the site of the specialised radiation bunker, which will soon offer first-class cancer treatment to patients in the Mallee.
“After some delays, I am pleased to see work on the centre is now progressing,” Dr Webster said.
“This Centre will service patients across three states. For many, it will mean less trips to capital cities to access the treatment they need.
“I said in my maiden speech that no one’s access to health care should be determined by their postcode, and I’m pleased to see that the Liberal and Nationals Government is delivering to see this inequity alleviated.”
Dr Gillespie, a former regional doctor for more than 30 years, said he understood first-hand how important it was for country people to be able to access care locally.
“Access to health care, where and when it’s needed, is a strong commitment of our government,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Since taking over this portfolio six months ago, I’ve been focussed on improving access to health care for patients in the regions and trying to even up the balance of GPs and health practitioners between the country and city.
“Far too many doctors and health professionals are choosing the bright city lights of our cities over regional hospitals and regional private practice work, and I’m working hard to even up the ledger to ensure country people can access timely and high quality care where they live.”
Dr Gillespie said the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG) scheme provides funding to the public and private health sectors for radiotherapy treatment for Australian patients.
The program assists by providing capital contributions towards the cost of a range of radiation therapy equipment.
“Today, I was delighted to meet the people who have worked so hard to make the new radiation therapy centre a reality. Their contribution will be greatly appreciated by local patients who can access treatment close to home and amongst family and friends,” Dr Webster said.