State-of-the-art facilities for local cancer patients

A new state-of-the-art scanning facility at Lismore Base Hospital means local cancer patients will now be able to receive the top diagnostic and treatment services close to home.

Page MP Janelle Saffin MP today launched the new PET/CT scanner and MRI scanner at the hospital on behalf of the Federal Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek.
“These new facilities will ensure patients in our region have access to highest level of technology without having to travel to a capital city.
“The PET/CT scanner is vital for detecting cancer types, studying the brain’s blood flow, finding damaged heart tissue, and spotting changes in the brain.
“Through the Health and Hospital Fund, the Australian Government has invested more than $17 million in cancer care services in Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie. The NSW Government has contributed $3 million.
“The Australian Government has also invested an additional $3 million for the MRI in Lismore under the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services.  The NSW Government will also contribute towards the Lismore MRI.
“This demonstrates the Australian Government’s strong commitment to fighting cancer.
“The Australian Government recognises the special needs of people living outside major cities, and the need to work to close the gap in cancer survival rates between city and country patients.
“In 2008, I was lobbied by the community-based committee that was pushing for a PET scanner for our area.  The committee had begun fundraising for one of these machines, which cost about $2.6 million and at that time were only located in metropolitan areas.
“When the Government announced a new Cancer Care Fund as part of the 2009 Economic Stimulus Program, I encouraged the PET scanner committee to put in a submission and I supported it.
“At that time I also supported the ‘Our House’ committee in making a submission for funding for the accommodation centre, and that too was successful.
“Today’s launch sees these community and Government efforts come to fruition, to the great benefit of our area.
“These facilities are a wonderful addition to the Cancer Care Centre that was opened in July 2010. The Australian Government delivered $15 million to fast track the $27-million centre, fulfilling one of my 2007 election commitments.

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