A Shorten Labor Government will boost cancer services for people in the Eurobodalla Shire by investing in a local radiation therapy facility.
This is part of Labor’s announcement that we will invest $60 million building 13 new radiation therapy facilities in regional areas across Australia, with Eurobodalla the first location to be announced.
This is part of our $2.3 billion cancer care package – the most important investment in Medicare since Bob Hawke created it.
Radiation therapy is underutilised in Australia, with just one in three patients offered the treatment compared to one in two in North America and Europe.
That means approximately 15 per cent of Australian cancer patients who would benefit from radiation therapy miss out.
Part of the reason for this gap is a lack of approved facilities, particularly outside our big cities. Labor will fully fund the Radiation Therapy Advisory Group’s plan to close this gap in regional areas.
Cancer is responsible for the biggest burden of disease in Australia, and cancer patients in regional and rural areas are more likely to die within five years of diagnosis.
This is one of the many ways in which the seven million Australians who live in the regions have poorer health outcomes than those in the cities. Labor is committed to addressing this inequality.
Labor’s commitment to delivering a regional radiation therapy facility in Eurobodalla comes on top of our commitment to provide $25 million to help build a new Eurobodalla Hospital.
We have also announced we will grant a full Medicare MRI licence to the region, boosting access to life-saving scans.
This is all part of Labor’s Fair Go Action Plan to protect Medicare and fix our hospitals. We can afford these investments because we are tackling unfair tax loopholes and making multinationals pay their fair share.
People in the Eurobodalla Shire – from South Durras to Tilba Tilba – deserve the same access to vital hospital care as people in Sydney and larger regions.
But thanks to the Liberals’ cuts and neglect, Eurobodalla hospital services have been downgraded and patients are forced to travel hours for basic procedures.
Scott Morrison is cutting $5.3 million from Southern NSW hospitals between 2017 and 2020 – equivalent to almost 8,000 emergency department visits or 13,000 outpatient appointments.
Only Labor has a plan to reverse these cuts and deliver a regional radiation therapy facility for Eurobodalla.