Member for Barker Tony Pasin is holding a community forum this Thursday to discuss the need for a Cancer Treatment Centre in the Limestone Coast.
The former Federal Coalition Government announced, Fighting Cancer – Regional Cancer Treatment Centres for Radiation Therapy program in 2019 to expand cancer treatment capacity throughout regional Australia by investing in additional health infrastructure.
In August 2020, public and private service providers were invited to apply for the $45.5 million grant program to develop regional radiation treatment centres for local cancer patients in nominated regions including in the Limestone Coast.
In response to this invitation, a grant application for a treatment centre at Mount Gambier was received by the Federal Government but Mr Pasin said this application did not proceed because the South Australian Government did not commit to supporting a service in Mount Gambier.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that our State Government didn’t see merit in establishing local cancer treatment services in the Limestone Coast,” Mr Pasin said.
Mr Pasin said he had written to the State and Federal Minister’s encouraging both levels of Government to commit to delivering a Cancer Treatment Centre, utilising the Federal Government funding that remained available from the 2019 Coalition Government budget.
“Multiple studies have shown that cancer survival rates are lower in regional areas and that distance from, and utilisation of radiation therapy is a significant factor in these statistics,” Mr Pasin said.
“The former Coalition Government recognised that cancer patients in rural and regional areas experience difficulties in accessing treatment close to home, and that the need to travel long distances comes with additional stresses at a time patients least need it,” Mr Pasin said.
Patients in the Limestone Coast are currently expected to travel up to four hours a day to receive treatment in Warrnambool or Adelaide, often for treatment as short as 15-minute.
“There are huge benefits to bringing cancer treatment closer to home for the health and wellbeing of our community,” Mr Pasin said.
“I want to ensure the community is informed on the issue and that State and Federal Government Minister’s deliver what was promised.
“It’s all part of my work to make the Limestone Coast an even better place to live, work and raise a family,” Mr Pasin said.
Those that attend will hear from representatives of Icon Group who manage more than 30 cancer treatment centres across Australia including in Adelaide and Warrnambool.
The community forum will be held at the City Hall Dress Circle at the Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre (Main Corner). Registrations open at 4:45pm for a 5pm start, Thursday 8th December 2022.
Media Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8724 7730