MEDIA RELEASE – BETTER SUPPORT FOR TERRITORIANS WITH CANCER IN SOLOMON

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MEDIA RELEASE – BETTER SUPPORT FOR TERRITORIANS WITH CANCER IN SOLOMON

People in Darwin and Palmerston will benefit from Labor’s plan to fund 24 metastatic cancer nurses around Australia, boosting care and support for locals who face this awful diagnosis.

Metastatic cancer is the stage at which the disease spreads beyond a primary tumour site to other parts of the body – such as breast cancer that has spread to the bones, liver or lungs. It is incurable.

Surveys by Breast Cancer Network Australia and other groups have shown that people with metastatic cancer and their families face unique challenges and need particular services and supports.

That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will fund 24 metastatic cancer nurses around Australia – including one at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre. Royal Darwin Hospital has been identified as one of the first 24 hospitals that will host a metastatic cancer nurse – meaning Territorians will benefit from Labor’s investment from mid-2020.

Labor will work with cancer groups and patients to develop the new metastatic cancer nurse program, building on the success of existing cancer nurse programs – but expanding support beyond particular tumour streams.

The nurses will work with patients and families to help navigate the complex health system and provide psychological support.

“People in Darwin and Palmerston and their families deserve the best possible care and support when they are diagnosed with metastatic cancer”, said Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling.

“The placement of a metastatic cancer nurse at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre will help provide some comfort to Territorians who face this unimaginable challenge”.

To better support kids and families in Darwin and Palmerston who are battling childhood cancer, a Shorten Labor Government will also invest $3.7 million to fund nine extra Camp Quality Family Liaison Coordinators around Australia – including one in Darwin.

Children who are being treated for cancer often spend 6-12 months in hospital. Navigating the complex health system and returning home after treatment is a daunting experience for children and families.

“Around 9,500 Australian kids are currently battling cancer, and another 700 will be diagnosed this year. Tragically, cancer kills more children than any other disease,” said Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling.

“The placement of a Camp Quality Family Liaison Coordinator in Darwin will be a huge support for kids in Solomon who are in a fight beyond their years, and their families.”

Today’s announcements are part of Labor’s $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan, that includes cheaper scans, cheaper specialist consultations, cheaper medicines.

The Medicare Cancer Plan will cover an additional 2,000 appointments a day – three million specialist consultations with no out-of-pocket costs.

Every MRI machine, in every postcode, will be eligible for Medicare cancer scans and out-of-pocket costs for CT scans, x-rays, mammograms and PET scans will be slashed, with up to six million free scans.
Only Labor will reverse the Liberals’ cuts to health, address rising out-of-pocket costs, and fund the best care and support for Australians with cancer – including in the Territory.