NSW Nationals Member for New England Barnaby Joyce.

NSW Nationals Member for New England Barnaby Joyce is calling on public and private service providers to apply for funding to improve regional radiation treatment for cancer patients in the region.

It follows last year’s announcement that Armidale was nominated as a site for the expanded oncology service, thanks to the NSW Nationals in the federal government.

Cancer patients in areas like Armidale often travel to other centres to obtain their radiation therapy. This can be an exhausting and expensive process, adding to the stress of a cancer diagnosis on the individual, their family and carers.

The NSW Nationals in the federal government’s investment of $45.5 million in grants for new centres across Australia will reduce the need to travel outside the region and allow many patients to access all their cancer treatment services in one place.

“Having access to adequate health services is vital for people in the bush and treatments like this could quite literally, save the lives of our loved ones,” Mr Joyce said.

“Rural and regional Australians in the New England provide much for this country; it’s only fair we provide them with the proper health services they need and deserve.”

Public and private service providers are encouraged to form consortia to apply for the funding, as this will maximise their ability to provide the new or expanded cancer treatment centres.

New and innovative approaches to delivering radiation therapy services in regional Australia are encouraged. The locations of the new NSW radiation cancer treatment centres announced in 2019 also included: South Coast (Bega /Eurobodalla); Grafton and Clarence Valley; Far North Coast; Mid North Coast (Nambucca, Kempsey); Taree and Western NSW (Griffith).

Funding for this initiative comes from the NSW Nationals in the federal government’s Health Infrastructure Program, an important part of our long-term health reform agenda. The program is building, upgrading and expanding vital health infrastructure to ensure Australia’s health system is equipped to meet current and future health needs.

The open competitive grants process, which will be provided over five years from 2020-21, will close on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.