GILLARD GOVERNMENT MUST RULE OUT COST SLUG ON ST ANDREW’S CANCER PATIENTS
Federal Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane has called on the Gillard Government to immediately reverse its latest health policy debacle, which will have a direct impact on cancer patients in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs and force them to pay more for life-saving treatment.
“It is unacceptable that the Gillard Government is prepared to hit St Andrew’s Hospital with significant extra costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars because of its changes to the rebate for a chemotherapy drug,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Reports today suggest that cuts to the chemotherapy rebate will directly affect cancer patients right around Australia.
“But in our region, where the St Andrew’s Hospital Cancer Care Centre treats Toowoomba patients as well as more regional and remote patients who have to travel hundreds of kilometres for medical care, the extra costs will be particularly harsh.
“Regional cancer patients already incur significant travel expenses, as well as disruption to their normal routines, on top of the personal and family stress that’s more likely to be felt at these times.
“For the Federal Government to compound that pressure by significantly adding to treatment costs is inexcusable.
“St Andrew’s Hospital’s Cancer Care Centre is one of regional Queensland’s most important health facilities, and the numbers of patients it treats is proof of how vital its ongoing operation is to our region.
“The Federal Government should be supporting regional health services like the St Andrew’s Hospital Cancer Care Centre, not undermining their viability because the Government can’t keep its budget in order.”