Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, left, Page MP Janelle Saffin and Richmond MP Justine Elliot in the new cancer care unit at Lismore Base Hospital with nurse in charge of Cancer Unit and Haematology Micheal Hallan, North Coast Area Health Service chief executive Chris Crawford, medical physicist Nick Bennie, deputy chief radiation therapist Stephen Manley and medical physicist Setayesh Behin-Ain.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, left, Page MP Janelle Saffin and Richmond MP Justine Elliot in the new cancer care unit at Lismore Base Hospital with nurse in charge of Cancer Unit and Haematology Micheal Hallan, North Coast Area Health Service chief executive Chris Crawford, medical physicist Nick Bennie, deputy chief radiation therapist Stephen Manley and medical physicist Setayesh Behin-Ain. Jacklyn Wagner

Rudd delivers $9.1m cancer fund

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd was at Lismore Base Hospital yesterday, and he came bearing gifts.

Mr Rudd was at the hospital to announce a $9.1 million cancer treatment package, which would make Lismore only the second regional centre in NSW, after Newcastle, to get a high-tech PET scanner for detecting cancers and heart and brain disease, along with a second radiotherapy device and help building a 20-unit accommodation centre for patients using the new cancer care unit.

The announcement received an enthusiastic response from patients at the hospital’s cancer unit.

It is also welcome news for Clarence Valley cancer patients, many of whom have to travel to Brisbane for PET scans and certain forms of treatment.

North Lismore resident Joyce Mulley is five years into her own battle with cancer and was quick to ask the Prime Minister about the new devices when he arrived at the hospital yesterday morning.

“These machines will be a huge benefit to patients like me. If you’re not well the travelling is difficult, particularly for young patients with families,” she said.

“Being on the pension, we can’t afford the daily trips to Brisbane, and being away from home really doesn’t make life easy.”

Casino man Ian Gay told Mr Rudd battling cancer was tough enough without having to cope with travelling big distances to access radiotherapy treatment. Mr Gay’s comment struck a chord with the Prime Minister, who quoted the line several times during his visit to the hospital.



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