Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash and Parkes MP Mark Coulton have celebrated with Dubbo health professionals and community members, following the announcement a re-elected Turnbull-Joyce Government will invest $25 million in an integrated cancer centre for Western NSW.
Speaking in Dubbo on Friday, Minister Nash said the current Dubbo Hospital redevelopment along with the Coalition's investment would make the integrated cancer centre dream a reality.
“The community support for this cancer centre is simply overwhelming,” Minister Nash said.
“As Nationals Deputy Leader, I aim to help build the types of communities our children either want to stay in or come back to, and great health services are a big part of that.
“More than 270,000 people live across the Western NSW health district and Dubbo is central in the region.
“The local medical profession and Rotarians of Dubbo West who kick started this campaign with Mark have done an amazing job in helping get the cancer centre on the Government agenda.
“Thousands of Western NSW residents have liked the campaign’s Facebook page and signed the petition.”
Mr Coulton has been working with local professionals and community members since 2015 to develop a local campaign to promote the need for equitable access to cancer diagnosis and treatment services in Western NSW.
“I first met with the President and Members of the Rotary Club of Dubbo West, Medical Oncologist at Dubbo Hospital Dr Florian Honeyball, and the Renal Specialist at Dubbo Hospital Dr Colin McClintock last year about a Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography (PET/CT) Scanner for Dubbo Hospital,” Mr Coulton said.
“I then met with Deputy Premier of NSW Troy Grant, the Chief Executive Officer of Western NSW LHD, and Dubbo-based specialist Dr Joe Canalese, who all flagged with me that the need for cancer services in Western NSW was more than a PET/CT scanner.
“As someone who lives in rural NSW and who has experienced cancer both firsthand and with close family members, I was already fully aware of the need for specialist cancer services in rural and regional NSW.
“Some in our far western communities were choosing death over travelling for cancer treatment and that simply wasn't good enough.
“I took the issue to Canberra last year and I am so pleased that Minister Nash and I, together with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, have secured a commitment for this centre.”
Media contact for Minister Nash: Les White Ph 0409 805 122
Media contact for Mark Coulton: Amy Welham Ph 0448 477 830