In this section
9 September 2012
Regional cancer patients will have greater hope of surviving cancer, following the announcement by Premier Campbell Newman and Health Minister Lawrence Springborg that the patient travel subsidy scheme will double from January 1 next year.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn, applauded the commitment.
"This is great news for cancer patients, great news for regional Queenslanders, and great news for Hospital and Health Services," he said.
"The Premier and Health Minister have declared that we 'can do' something to improve cancer survival for regional Queenslanders.
"We welcome this vital Budget commitment to help regional Queenslanders in the fight against cancer."
One of the major barriers to survival is the cost of travelling to the city for cancer treatment, with successive previous Queensland Governments refusing to increase financial support for patients.
"This important Budget measure will save lives by providing regional Queenslanders with better access to life-saving health services," Prof Dunn said.
"From January 1, regional people will no longer have to agonise over whether they can afford to undergo cancer treatment.
"The Premier and Health Minister have shown they are serious about sustaining and revitalising the health of our regions, starting with the health of regional people, who deserve the same opportunities that city people get.
"I commend the Government for providing a helping hand to regional patients and congratulate the Health Minister for this acknowledgement that regional health is critical to Queensland's future success."
Cancer Council research estimates nine per cent of regional cancer deaths are preventable, with about 120 regional cancer deaths each year that would otherwise be avoidable if survival rates in the bush were equal to those in the city.
"Evidence shows that cost is a major barrier preventing regional people from accessing life-saving health services," Prof Dunn said.
"For regional patients who have to undergo months of treatment in the city, the financial costs can be devastating, compounding the physical and emotional strain of a cancer diagnosis and severely impacting on quality of life and recovery from treatment."
"The Government can be proud of delivering its promise on this issue," he said.