The Rudd Labor Government has invested $15 million for a network of 34 new regional Cancer Care Nurse Coordinators, with one to be based at the new Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre.
Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, welcomed the announcement and the extra support for cancer patients across the Grampians region.
Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek said the Cancer Care Nurse Coordinators will provide patients with vital information about the illness and its treatment, and help patients navigate the health system, connecting them with health services and with community support and resources.
“Australian cancer patients now have the best overall survival rates in the world, and this investment will continue to improve the lives of Australians touched by cancer, no matter where they live.
“This funding is on top of the record $4.1 billion investment in cancer screening, treatment and care made by this Government since 2007” Ms Plibersek said.
The Cancer Care Coordinators will provide support and education for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, their families, carers and staff. Services may include:
• Providing information about the illness and treatment options.
• Facilitating patients’ contact with community supports and resources.
• Help patients with accessing cancer services.
• Providing ongoing support for patients and their families.
• Providing expertise in chemotherapy administration and management.
Ms King said extra support for cancer patients and their families across our region was an important issue for the community.
“I am pleased that a Cancer Care Nurse Coordinator will be located at BRICC for the benefit of all affected patients around Ballarat and across the Grampians,” Ms King said.
“This comes on top of our considerable investment in health and hospitals across the region.
“This includes the $42 million for BRICC and investments at the Springs Medical Centre, Daylesford, the Ballan GP Super Clinic and the Elms Medical Centre in Bacchus Marsh.
“This means more doctors, nurses and beds and more people cared for; less waiting time in emergency departments; and people getting their surgery done sooner,” Ms King said.
This national initiative is expected to benefit at least 7,600 rural cancer patients and their families over four years.
The Cancer Care Nurse Coordinators initiative is funded through the Priority Health Initiatives measure that was included in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook and is accounted for in the Budget.