Hunter New England Health has defended its decision not to apply for Federal Government funding to boost cancer services in the Newcastle region.
The Government announced yesterday it will spend $560 million to improve cancer services in regional areas.
Hunter New England Health’s acting director of cancer services, Dr Anthony Proietto, says a conscious decision has been made not to apply for more funding for Newcastle.
“We had previously received some enhancement so we felt that to improve the regional cancer services and take some of the pressure off the Calvary Mater and the Newcastle area, it would be appropriate to have Tamworth as a major oncology centre in a regional setting,” he said.
Tamworth is set to receive $32 million for new chemotherapy and radiotherapy services.
But the cancer package does not extend to a radiotherapy unit on the central coast.
Residents have been campaigning for a unit for years, with the State Government promising it will open by 2013.
The federal Member for Robertson, Belinda Neal, says funding is imminent.
“Obviously I can’t pre-empt any announcement but I’m very confident that we’ll have a very good announcement sometime shortly,” she said.