PEOPLE POWER BEHIND NORTHWEST PET SCAN PUSH
The push for a PET scan in the North West has gained further momentum following representations for the machine to be installed at the North West Cancer Centre in Tamworth.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson met with the Cancer Council NSW’s Shaen Fraser and Paul Hobbs, local cancer survivor and strong PET scan advocate Garry Norman and Hunter New England Health Executive Director Susan Heyman to discuss next steps.
“We’re building the case to NSW Health, taking the stories of local survivors to the department, ensuring they hear our voice.”
Tamworth cancer survivor Garry Norman said a PET scan in Tamworth would help ease the pain suffered by cancer patients and help cut down on the cost of treatment.
“I’ve come through stage four cancer and I’m pushing hard for a PET scan for Tamworth to help stop the suffering of people in general,” Mr Norman said.
“I’ve got a daughter with cancer now, so she has to travel to Newcastle. If she goes by herself, she has to stay overnight, and the expense is so much that ordinary wages don’t cover it.”
Cancer Council’s Shaen Fraser said there was a clear need for a PET scan in our region and the calls for this service to be provided in the Northwest Cancer Care Centre is growing.
“We support patients with their travel and accommodation, we arrange accommodation in Newcastle at great expense. If we had this service closer to home that would alleviate a lot of concern and suffering,” Mrs Fraser said.
“We need the voice of the community to get behind this and show that the need is there and that it would improve their outcomes, and their recovery.
“It’s about having access to the services they need, closer to home. If you think it’s tough in Tamworth, imagine what it’s like in Moree and Inverell who have to travel to Tamworth, then on to Newcastle. It’s about the broader community in the New England Northwest.
“We know the need is there.”
Mr Anderson said “this is a really important issue and I have previously written to health authorities seeking their support to have a PET scan installed at the North West Cancer Centre.
“We fought for the MRI machine, we fought for a Better Banksia mental health unit, and we will continue fighting for a PET Scan machine.
“The North West Cancer Centre has the space and now we need the machine to provide this lifesaving treatment for our people.