Regional Queenslanders impacted by cancer are set to benefit from a $785,000 Federal Government grant for Cancer Council Queensland to upgrade its patient lodge at Herston in Brisbane.
The grant has been awarded under the Commonwealth Community Development Grants Programme, which aims to support the delivery of priority infrastructure promoting stable, secure, and healthy local and regional communities.
The project will include the modernisation of 11 self-contained residential units, a community room, administration office, and communal barbeque area.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan welcomed the lifesaving commitment.
“This funding will provide a vital lifeline for regional Queenslanders travelling to Brisbane for cancer treatment,” Ms McMillan said.
“It will help improve access to world-leading clinical and supportive care services, helping to prevent the estimated 350 regional cancer deaths each year in Queensland due to the city-country divide.
“It has long been established in evidence that cancer patients living in outer regional areas are more likely to die within five years of a diagnosis than those living in cities.
“Our research estimates 13 per cent of all regional cancer deaths are preventable, with about 350 deaths avoidable each year if survival rates in the bush were equal to those in the city.
“This major Federal funding boost will allow us to upgrade the lodge and assist in addressing this disparity, not only for today but for future years.
“We applaud this investment and welcome the commitment of the Member for Brisbane Trevor Evans and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to improving quality of life and survival outcomes for all Queenslanders, affected by all cancers.”
Cancer Council Queensland operates six accommodation lodges statewide, providing a potential 100,000 bed nights each year for cancer patients, carers and family at no out-of-pocket costs.
Each year the Charles Wanstall Apex Lodge accommodates about 1400 patients and their carers, also providing 1600 episodes of transport and 640 occasions of support.
This equates to about $1.8M worth of accommodation provided to patients for no out-of-pocket costs, based on commercial accommodation rates.
Around 27,000 Queenslanders are diagnosed with cancer every year, and about 8700 die from the disease.
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