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BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR RADIATION THERAPY FOR REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

In a big Budget week for the healthcare sector, both the Government and Opposition have committed to providing funding for radiotherapy treatment for rural and regional Australia.

Announced as part of the $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan announced in the Budget-in-reply this week, an elected Labor government would provide $60 million towards 13 radiation therapy facilities in rural and regional areas.

This follows on from the Coalition’s commitment of $45.5 million for regional radiation therapy in Tuesday’s Budget.

In Australia, radiation therapy is underused in the fight against cancer. In Europe and North America, 1 in 2 cancer patients receives it as part of their treatment, here it is only 1 in 3.

The medical technology industry has long called for greater funding for radiotherapy in Australia, with a campaign launched recently by the Radiation Therapy Advisory Group, a group formed in 2017, comprising of expert individuals and organisations dedicated to raising the profile of radiation therapy.

The Radiation Therapy for Regional Australia campaign was launched in Newcastle earlier this year, and their success in bringing the plight of rural and regional cancer patients to the attention of government has helped to ensure that all Australians have access to the treatment they need.

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