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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 27 October 2011) . . Page.. 5168 ..


highly focused treatment option to a specific group of prostate cancer patients. In addition, four new inpatient beds for the Capital Region Cancer Service were opened on 14B at the Canberra Hospital in 2011.

MR HARGREAVES: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Chief Minister, what other improvements in cancer treatment are we making here in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: In addition to all of that work—and I thank all of the staff involved in Capital Region Cancer Service for the innovation that they are showing in terms of stretching the public health dollar and targeting it to areas where there is greatest demand—members will be aware that the commonwealth government has provided the ACT with about $28 million from the health and hospital fund for the ACT capital region cancer centre. This is part of the funds to set up cancer centres across the country. We, from our last budget, are contributing an additional $15.4 million to that to allow for extra capacity within that cancer centre. With the two buckets of money, I think we will be able to build something really fantastic.

The integrated cancer centre will be run by Capital Region Cancer Service and will be built around the recently expanded radiation oncology department at Canberra Hospital. I think anyone who has been involved in cancer services, as a patient, a family or in public life, will acknowledge the benefits that an integrated cancer centre will provide us with the co-location of a whole range of services to meet the needs of patients. Rather than patients moving from one area of the hospital to another, we will have all of those services, including teaching and research facilities, co-located in one centre.

We are also purchasing two new linear accelerators to fill out the second bunker that was built a couple of years ago and also to replace one of the linear accelerators that is coming to its end of life. Again this will allow us to continue to meet the demands for radiation therapy services in the future.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, can you explain, please, why breast screening for women in the 50 to 69 years age group has declined in the last year and failed to meet targets and why the number of women who receive an assessment appointment within the recommended 28 days has also fallen this year and failed to meet targets?

MS GALLAGHER: I think the 70 per cent target is a national target that has never been reached by any jurisdiction. Indeed, the ACT on national trends has usually done pretty well. It is an issue, how you encourage women to continue to come back and have their breasts screened, particularly in the target age group. BreastScreen actually offers a service for woman who are 40, but the target age group is women who are


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