Joint Media Statement
The Hon Jim McGinty MLA
Minister for Health
The Hon Justine Elliot MP
Acting Minister for Health and Ageing
Up to 400 South-West cancer patients each year will be able to get their treatment closer to home thanks to a new $15million radiotherapy facility to be built at Bunbury Hospital.
Joint funding for the new facility was announced today by Western Australian Health Minister Jim McGinty and Acting Federal Minister for Health and Ageing Justine Elliot.
Mr McGinty said the State Government would invest $9million and $6million would be contributed by the Federal Government.
“Radiotherapy treatment requires patients to be in Perth for a number of weeks, which means travel, finding accommodation and being away from their loved ones at what is a very difficult time,” he said.
“This investment by both governments will allow cancer patients in the South-West to get this life-saving treatment locally.”
Mrs Elliot said this service was important to the local community.
“There is no doubt that Bunbury needs a radiation oncology service,” Mrs Elliot said.
“This new facility will mean cancer patients in Bunbury and its surrounding regions can get more timely radiation therapy without having to travel great distances, as they have had to until now.
“The Australian Government has also made funding commitments for new facilities in Cairns, Queensland; Lismore, NSW; Darwin, NT; and in the north or north-west of Tasmania.”
Mr McGinty said construction would start next year and was expected to be completed mid - 2010.
“The new facility will include room for equipment and staff to provide treatment for both public and private patients,” he said.
South-West MLC Adele Farina said she was pleased Bunbury Hospital would get a radiotherapy facility.
“The population of the South-West region is growing rapidly and it is wonderful that the State and Federal Governments have come together to provide this important service right here in Bunbury,” Ms Farina said.
The service will be able to provide multi-disciplinary care to patients.
Cancer is one of Australia’s biggest killers, with more than 35,000 deaths and 88,000 people diagnosed with the disease every year.
About 80 Australians die each week from bowel cancer alone, and one in 22 Australians are likely to develop the disease at some point in their lives.
“The fight against cancer is a national challenge and the Australian Government is committed to supporting researchers, clinicians, practitioners and other health professionals involved in cancer research and treatment,” Mrs Elliot said.
Office of the WA Minister for Health - (08) 9422 3000
Office of the Acting Federal Minister for Health & Ageing - (02) 6277 7220