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A regional cancer centre could open its doors to patients in East Gippsland in little more than a year.

East Gippsland was named in last year’s Federal Budget as the location for one of ten regional cancer centres to be established around Australia.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said an important stage of the establishment of the East Gippsland centre would get underway in July.

“This new centre will provide high quality, comprehensive radiation oncology services in areas of need,” Mr Chester said.

“We want to help more people access the treatment and services they require. This life-saving, proven treatment has been used in nearly half of all successful cancer treatments.

“Distance can be a significant barrier for people living in regional and rural areas to receiving cancer treatment. The centre in East Gippsland will relieve that stress and support those who need our help, but live considerable distances from existing services.

“Cancer does not discriminate and this new centre will help us to tackle a major difficulty faced by patients in regional communities in accessing radiation therapy.”

A competitive grants process will begin in July that allows private and public service providers to apply for funding to provide radiation therapy services in East Gippsland. The location for the new service within East Gippsland has not been stipulated.

The grant money can be used for equipment, capital, infrastructure or administration costs.

Applications will close in late August and the selection process will be finalised before the end of this year.

The successful applicant will be announced in early 2021. The East Gippsland centre is hoped to be operational by July 1, 2021.

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