New public-private cancer treatment centre

by Ted Sorensen
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Fresh State Government funding of $3.7 million annually will launch a public-private partnership project for cancer treatment across the region.

Health Minister Laurence Springborg was in Hervey Bay this week to roll out the good news that will significantly extend radiation oncology services through the Wide Bay.

Mr Springborg said locals would be able to receive cancer treatment here rather than have to travel to Brisbane.

“This new annual funding will see the private sector engaged. It will be a great partnership between the health sector and the private sector,” he said.

Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen, who joined Mr Springborg on Tuesday on a tour of Hervey Bay Hospital’s medical and pediatric wards and ICU, said the first round of funding had been secured for between July 2014 and June 2015.

“It will surely ease the burden on some 400 cancer sufferers and their families, who have been obliged to travel to Brisbane to access life-saving treatments,” he said.

“We expect these new services to operate out of Hervey Bay and Bundaberg for the first three years. Tenders will be called in he near future and free treatment will start in 2015.”

Mr Springborg and Mr Sorensen also praised health sector staff and the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service board that together had hugely contributed to a major slashing of health waiting lists in the region.

“These people are under-estimated,” he said.

In April 2013 there were 9378 patients in the Wide Bay who had been waiting more than two years for treatment.

“Today nobody waits more than 19 months in the Wide Bay for oral health care within our public system,” Ted Sorensen said. “Formerly the wait time in Hervey Bay alone was 108 months.

“This is fantastic news.”

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