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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed Federal Government funding for a new regional cancer treatment centre to be built in East Gippsland.

Mr Chester said East Gippsland was one of 13 locations in regional Australia to share $63.4 million included in the Federal Budget for new radiation therapy services.  Funding has also been provided for a new cancer centre in the Warragul/South Gippsland area.

“These two centres will provide high quality, comprehensive radiation oncology services in areas of need,” Mr Chester said.

“As we know, cancer does not discriminate and the Federal Government is committed to addressing the difficulty faced by patients in regional communities in accessing radiation therapy,” Mr Chester said.

“Distance can be a significant barrier for people living in regional and rural areas to receiving cancer treatment. These two centres will relieve that stress and support those who need our help.

“This announcement will ensure we can assist more people. This life-saving, proven treatment has been used in nearly half of all successful cancer treatments.

“This funding is in addition to the $606 million for diagnostic imaging and the $1.4 billion in Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in the past year for breast, lung and skin cancers.”

The Federal Government’s strong economic management has allowed record funding into vital health initiatives including drug and alcohol treatment, mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.

Last year, Mr Chester secured $900,000 for Gippsland Rotary Centenary House to build 13 new units to be used by patients and their families who need accommodation whilst receiving treatment at Latrobe Regional Hospital.

Mr Chester has successfully campaigned for Central Gippsland Health to be able to offer MRI scans subsidised by Medicare. Since November last year, patients needing this kind of scan have been able to receive a subsidised service at the Sale hospital.

Mr Chester worked with the community to get $300,000 for construction of a new medical centre in Mallacoota, and to secure $3.86 million for a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre near Bairnsdale.

Last week, Mr Chester announced funding had been allocated in the Federal Budget for a specialised youth mental health service in Sale. That funding came on top of an extra $2.5 million for mental health services in Gippsland announced in February to help support farmers.

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