Friday, May 27, 2016

Got cancer? Will you die? Depends who gets your vote

The announcement today by the Nationals that a re-elected Liberal-National Government will provide half of the total funding required to bring cancer services to the people of Western NSW galls me.

Why the heck are cancer treatment services linked to how people vote? Surely everyone who has cancer deserves to get the best access to vital treatment whether they vote for the winning party or not.

There have been a few other health and treatment related election promises already this campaign by various parties and they all make my blood boil.

Why is the planning for services to Australia's population reduced to a rabble during election campaigns? Surely health and medical professionals, health bureaucracies and myriad other well-informed people know which health facilities are required and where they should be located to meet the needs of the population. Why does funding for these vital services and facilities depend on any particular party winning an election?

Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, s.326(1) and (2) Bribery, "Election campaign declarations of public policy or promises of public action are not regarded as bribery."

Such promises do, however, have a certain stench because the threat is that if you do not vote for the party, the money will be withheld.

According to this media release, the Liberal-National team recognises there are "critical services gaps in cancer care for people in the Western NSW region, particularly for diagnosis and radiotherapy treatment" and patients are "choosing death over treatment for cancer as the physical and emotion [sic] costs of obtaining treatment is such an enormous burden".

Too bad if someone other than the Liberal-National candidate wins. Too bad for the tens of thousands of people who will miss out on treatment and die prematurely. Shocker of a way to go, voting the "wrong" way.

http://nationals.org.au/coalition-pledges-25-million-for-vital-cancer-services-in-western-nsw/


BARNABY JOYCE MP
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTERMINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCESFEDERAL MEMBER FOR NEW ENGLAND
SENATOR FIONA NASHMINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AND RURAL HEALTHSENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
MARK COULTON MPMEMBER FOR PARKES
A re-elected Liberal-National Government will provide half of the total funding required to bring cancer services to the people of Western NSW, contributing $25 million towards a new Integrated Cancer Centre.
The new purpose built, specialist cancer treatment facility will be located at the Dubbo Base Hospital and will allow residents in the Western NSW region to access critical cancer care, closer to where they live.
The centre will provide specialist medical and radiation oncology services as well as a PET scanning service.
The approximately $50 million project will address critical service gaps in cancer care for people in the Western NSW region, particularly for diagnosis and radiotherapy treatment.
Announcing the commitment this morning, Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce said the commitment demonstrates the Liberal-National Party’s commitment to the health of rural and regional Australians.
“It’s a basic fact that rural and regional Australians don’t have access to the same range of health services as those living in urban locations. It’s also a fact that rural and remote communities experience higher rates of premature death, mortality and chronic disease.
“This new centre demonstrates our strong commitment to improve the health and life expectancy of people living outside of the major cities.”
Minister for Rural Health and Deputy Leader of the National Party, Senator Fiona Nash said the new centre will mean locals in need of treatment will spend less time travelling and more time closer to home with their families and loved ones.
“Living in rural NSW, I know it’s hard to be away from home for long periods. Doing so while battling cancer is unimaginable.
“It’s hard enough to learn of a cancer diagnosis, but it’s heart breaking when a patient has to leave their home and spend weeks and months away from their family during a traumatic period. This new Cancer Centre will mean more people can receive the best possible treatment, much closer to home. The Coalition Government aims to help build regional communities our children and grandchildren want to either stay in or come back to, and first-class health services are a big part of that.”
Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton welcomed the announcement after a long campaign and thanked the local community for their sustained advocacy.
“This announcement is the culmination of hard work and incredible passion shown by the community. We have been fighting tooth and nail to deliver this critical funding to our community for many years. I am proud that a Liberal-National Government are the ones getting on with the job of delivering vital cancer care services for the people of Western NSW. The people in our region deserve access to specialist healthcare regardless of where we live,” Mr Coulton said.
“The new centre won’t just service locals in Dubbo, it will provide critical care to more than 270,000 people who live across Western NSW who up until now have had to travel far and wide to receive treatment.
“It’s a stark reality that many people are choosing death over treatment for cancer, as the physical and emotion costs of obtaining treatment is such an enormous burden. This new centre will go a long way to easing that burden.
“The statistics also back our case. Between 2006 and 2021 there will be a 43% growth in the number of new cases of cancer in the Western NSW health region. Unless new services are provided, people in dire need will miss out.”
ENDS
27/05/2016

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