BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS & ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR FLYNN
RADIATION THERAPY FACILITY FOR GLADSTONE
A Shorten Labor Government will boost cancer services for the people of Gladstone 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, so people don’t have to travel far from home to access the services in big cities.
This is just one element of Labor’s $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan – the most important investment in Medicare since Bob Hawke introduced it.
Radiation therapy is used to destroy cancer cells and is part of the treatment in 40 per cent of all patients cured of cancer worldwide.
It is underutilised in Australia and as a result, thousands of Australian cancer patients who would benefit from radiation therapy miss out, especially those in regional areas.
Part of the reason for this gap is a lack of approved facilities, particularly outside our big cities. Labor will close this gap in regional areas by funding 13 new radiation therapy centres in areas of high need.
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 than Australians living in large cities.
This is one of the many ways in which the seven million Australians who live in our regions have poorer health outcomes than those in the cities.
Labor is committed to addressing this inequality.
That’s why we have also committed to buying Gladstone’s private Mater Hospital and partnering with the Queensland Government to keep it open. And it’s why we have committed to delivering a Medicare-funded MRI licence for Gladstone.
Our commitments in Gladstone are also part of our Central Highlands Health Action Plan, which also includes:
- $4.8 million upgrade to the Emerald Hospital Emergency Department guaranteeing better quality healthcare closer to home
- Fixing the Blackwater Hospital with a $17.9 million upgrade to the current facility
- A new headspace Facility in Emerald ensuring mental health in our region is prioritised
- Reverse Scott Morrison and the LNP’s savage cuts to Central Queensland Hospitals.
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 Gladstone – and across the Central Highlands – deserve the same access to vital hospital care as people in Brisbane.
Scott Morrison is cutting $6.1 million from Central Queensland Hospitals between 2017 and 2020.
Only Labor has a plan to reverse these cuts and deliver a regional radiation therapy facility for Gladstone.
TUESDAY, 9 APRIL 2019