Bulk billed radiation therapy is on the horizon for local cancer patients pending state government approval to subside treatment costs through Griffith's new Radiation oncology facility.
If approval is given, patients undergoing treatment won't have to pay a significant gap cost, averaging $480 for a course of radiation treatment.
The news comes following the winning of a tender for a federal grant by Wagga based private provider Riverina Cancer Care Centre, to set up a radiation therapy clinic in Griffith.
CEO of Riverina Cancer Care Damien Williams said that the opening of a lifesaving radiation oncology facility in Griffith would go a long way to support local cancer patients.
"We desperately want to provide a public service so that patients don't have any out of pocket costs," Mr Williams said.
"We have made a commitment to open as a bulk billed facility with the help of some federal funding but to continue that for the life of the facility we need state government support."
Member for Murray Helen Dalton said that there was an 'urgent need' to support the initiative.
"It is fantastic that people in Griffith, Leeton, Hay, Hillston and Narrandera will be able to access cancer treatment without having to travel to Wagga, Albury or Sydney," Mrs Dalton said.
"But without a state government subsidy of around $60,000, cancer patients will have to pay out of pocket expenses, as Medicare won't be able to cover the full cost."
She also called the push for a bulk billed facility for radiation therapy in Griffith a 'no brainer' decision for her fellow parliamentarians.
"Riverina Cancer Care have done some rough calculations which show the NSW Government spends at least $620,000 a year on travel subsidies though its Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme," Mrs Dalton said
"So the NSW Government will actually save money by supporting the new Riverina Cancer Care facility in Griffith.
"It would be a huge win for the community if they support this."
According to Mr Williams, a meeting held recently with Minister for Health Brad Hazzard was 'promising', Mr Hazzard saying he was supportive of the initiative.
A decision on the bulk billing potential of the new facility is expected to be made by mid-January.
The facility is expected to be open and treating patients during the latter part of the second half of 2022.
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