Following advocacy from Dr Michael Holland MP, Member for Bega, and Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park MP, specialist gynaecological cancer services are on track to be saved for women in Bega and surrounding areas.
The ACT government and Canberra Health Services yesterday stepped up and signalled its intention to deliver a gynaecological cancer surgery unit in Canberra after advertising for a gynaecological oncologist, which will service women in the neighbouring New South Wales electorates of Bega, Monaro, Goulburn, Wagga, Cootamundra, and Albury.
Dr Michael Holland and his New South Wales Parliamentary colleagues are disappointed the NSW Government is yet to come to the table and commit to continued funding to ensure radiotherapy services are brought to the electorate.
The Albanese Federal Labor Government committed to building the infrastructure to establish a local radiation oncology service in the Eurobodalla earlier this year, which will drastically reduce travel time and improve the treatment options for cancer patients in the Bega electorate.
The proposed permanent service will be established to replace the fortnightly clinic at Canberra Hospital provided by the Royal Women's Hospital, which has been operating under the care of Dr Greg Robertson for more than two decades and is set to finish at the end of the year.
Dr Michael Holland MP – Member for Bega said “It is fantastic news to hear the ACT has taken steps to ensure the women of the ACT and surrounds will continue to have access to this lifesaving medical treatment.”
“The ACT government has stepped up and the Federal government has stepped up so it’s disappointing that the NSW government is yet to take steps to commit to critical cancer services in the Bega electorate.”
“Cancer rates are only set to increase with our aging population and without these services locally in our region, having a Canberra service is vital to many who cannot viably make the trip to Sydney for treatment”
“I will continue to advocate strongly for the people of the Bega electorate to make sure cancer services are available and easily accessible right here in our region, and I call on the NSW Government to ensure these services are provided locally into the future”
“Quality of care should not be determined by where you live. Already hundreds of patients needing care are required to travel up to 5 hours for treatment and this is simply not acceptable.”
The NSW Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park added “What we now need is for the NSW Government to follow the lead of the ACT Government.
“Every day that we don’t have this critical service available leaves lives at risk.
“Your postcode should not determine the level of healthcare you receive.”
Above: With over 3000 signatures from the South East calling for the delivery of regional radiotherapy service (that has already been funded by the Federal Government) the current NSW Government is looking fairly inept in recognising the groundswell with its blinkered approach and poor excuses in failing to recognise it is failing.