The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP
Minister for Regional Health
Federal Liberal National Party Candidate for Flynn
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
19 April 2022
BETTER SUPPORT FOR GLADSTONE CANCER PATIENTS UNDERGOING RADIOTHERAPY
Cancer patients across the Gladstone region will soon have more access to support locally as they undergo radiation therapy treatment.
The Morrison-Joyce Government today announced it is investing $1.9 million for a satellite telehealth clinic to support patients in need of radiation oncology services.
Part of the investment will go towards purchasing a bus to make it easier for patients to access the clinic.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was joined by Regional Health Minister and former regional doctor Dr David Gillespie and Liberal National Party Candidate for Flynn Colin Boyce today in Gladstone to make the fully-funded announcement.
The Deputy Prime Minister said cancer has a huge impact on the lives of patients and their families and the Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to improving health services in regional Australia.
“Today’s announcement will have a tangible impact on the lives of people dealing with cancer and their families by making it easier to receive radiation therapy services and get the support they need,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Dr Gillespie said the clinic will provide valuable support to locals and their families as they go through their cancer battle.
“This centre will help patients and their physicians better manage their treatment from Rockhampton,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Offering follow-up reviews and post-radiation treatment support helps local GPs to support local patients and enables the radiation oncologist to manage patients across both sites more efficiently.”
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said the Coalition Government was committed to ensuring people with cancer who live in rural and regional areas can get treatment as close to home as possible.
“Rural and regional areas face particular challenges from the impact of cancer, with higher incidence and mortality rates compared to metropolitan areas,” Minister Hunt said.
“Access to services can be challenging in some areas, which places a strain on people with cancer and their families – both mentally and financially.
“Our Government’s investment in regional radiation therapy services means that patients can access a range of services in one place.”
Mr Boyce welcomed that part of the investment would go towards the cost of a bus, to offer transport services and ensure appropriate access to radiation oncology services for marginalised or vulnerable patients in the area.
“Approximately 50 per cent of local patients who require radiation therapy services don’t get them for a variety of reasons, including difficulty with access, transport and lack of awareness of the available services, which is why having the bus to transport people to appointments will be helpful,” Mr Boyce said.
“I know this clinic will greatly support Gladstone patients undergoing radiation therapy in Rockhampton and means these patients will have support closer to home during this difficult time in their life.”
Dr Gillespie said the new telehealth clinic will wrap-around the patient to ensure they receive adequate support and education in relation to their radiation oncology services in a timely manner.
The telehealth clinic will be delivered from and supplement the existing cancer care services located in the West Wing of the Gladstone Hospital Campus, while radiation therapy treatments will continue to be delivered by existing providers through current partnership arrangements in Rockhampton.
The Liberal Nationals Government’s contribution of $1.9 million to the total project cost of $2.1 million, is fully funded through the $45.5 million Fighting Cancer program announced in the 2019-20 Budget. The remaining will be funded by the Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service. The clinic will begin operating later this year.
The Morrison Joyce Government continues to deliver for all Australians, and this is part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.