Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called on the Federal Government to immediately invest in radiotherapy treatment for Goulburn Valley Health
This call comes as the Garvan Research Foundation study released today, shows cancer mortality rates increased the further away a patient resides from a major capital city.
“The Shepparton District was found to be in the “inner regional” area – an area with the highest rates of prostate cancer, breast cancer in women, colorectal cancer, skin melanomas, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and kidney cancer.
“The study found, the further a cancer patient lives from a major city, the more likely they are to die within five years of diagnosis. This is not a statistic on which we should be happy to settle,” Ms Sheed said.
“It also found the chemotherapy drop-out rate for rural public hospitals is more than half, and the rates for those who access radiotherapy treatment are much worse,” she said.
Ms Sheed said now is the opportune time for the Federal Government to invest in Goulburn Valley Health.
It follows the Pink Ribbon Breakfast on Sunday, with guest speaker Dr Kerryn Phelps.
“In her address, Dr Phelps said how surprised she was Shepparton does not have radiotherapy unit.
“With Albury joining Bendigo in opening its Cancer Centre this year, Shepparton must follow suit.
“We have a local oncology facility, and a major rebuild of our hospital on the horizon with the $169mill announced by the State Government in April.
“Patients should not have to suffer hours of travel to Albury, Bendigo or Melbourne for radiotherapy treatment when they are so often feeling so unwell,” Ms Sheed said.
“I intend to raise this matter with the Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, requesting that she advocate for such a service in Shepparton with her Federal counterpart.
Cancer is the greatest burden of disease in Australia, but it does not have to be the burden for patients and their families where more efficient service delivery on a local level can help to lighten the load,” Ms Sheed said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org