4/11/2016

$20.5 million to continue funding for McGrath Breast Care Nurses

Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien today said Gympie will benefit from a McGrath Breast Care Nurse funded by the Liberal Nationals Government as part of $20.5 million in new funding to ensure ongoing support for people being treated for breast cancer.

 

“The support provided by McGrath Breast Care Nurses isn’t just to patients, but also to their families and carers – starting from diagnosis and continuing throughout their treatment,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The role nurses play in a patient’s treatment journey involves them acting as the main liaison between the patients and the specialists who coordinate their treatment, which is invaluable during a very difficult time in a patient’s life.

“At a recent meeting I arranged between the Assistant Minister for Health, David Gillespie and representatives from Gympie Hospital, they impressed upon us the need for ongoing funding for the McGrath Nurse and I’m pleased the Coalition Government is listening and delivering.”

Breast cancer is estimated to be the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the most common cancer for Australian women.   It affects one in eight Australian women before the age of 85.  This year, it is estimated that more than 16,000 people will be diagnosed – over 15,900 women and 150 men.

The Government’s commitment of $20.5 million over four years from 2017-18 will fund up to 57 of the McGrath Foundation’s nurse positions in approximately 55 locations across the country, with most of these working in regional and rural communities.

Mr O’Brien said Gympie will have a Coalition Government funded McGrath Breast Care Nurse based in the region who will provide physical, psychological and emotional support to people diagnosed with breast cancer.

Since 2013, Commonwealth-funded McGrath Breast Care Nurses have supported around 15,000 Australians and their families.

This new four-year extension to the Government’s previous funding agreement with the McGrath Foundation of $18.5 million will ensure this valuable support and coordination of care continues for patients with breast cancer.

This announcement is in addition to the Coalition Government’s 2015 listing of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medications for secondary breast cancer: pertuzumab (Perjeta®), trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla®) for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.  Without Government subsidy these medicines would cost consumers more than $82,700 per person each year to access.

Last month the Government also listed Tamoxifen (Nolvadex-D) on the PBS as a treatment to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women identified with a moderate to high lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.

“I look forward to the positive difference these initiatives will make in the fight against breast cancer.”